Dan Fredinburg, a Google executive, was killed on Mount Everest in an avalanche triggered by the massive, 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Nepal on Saturday. At least 17 climbers died on the mountain.
Fredinburg's sister confirmed his death in an Instagram post:
This is Dans little sister Megan. I regret to inform all who loved him that during the avalanche on Everest early this morning our Dan suffered from a major head injury and didn't make it. We appreciate all of the love that has been sent our way thus far and know his soul and his spirit will live on in so many of us. All our love and thanks to those who shared this life with our favorite hilarious strong willed man. He was and is everything to us. Thank you.
Jagged Globe, the company Fredinburg was hiking with, posted a statement mourning his loss.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dan’s family and friends whilst we pray too for all those who have lost their lives in one of the greatest tragedies ever to hit this Himalayan nation," it reads in part. The statement also said that two other climbers sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Tom Briggs, the company's marketing director, told The Guardian that Fredinburg and the others "saw the avalanche coming and were able to make a run for it but the camp was right in the middle of it."
Fredinburg headed up privacy for Google X, the company's secretive ideas lab, and had worked at the Internet giant since 2007. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was involved with initiatives ranging from Google's self-driving car to "Project Loon," which aspires to provide balloon-powered Internet access to remote areas. He also co-founded Google Adventure, which, according to the entrepreneur hub Startup Grind, aims to "translate the Google Street View concept into extreme, exotic locations like the summit of Mount Everest or the Great Barrier Reef off Australia."
The Guardian reported in April that he was part of a group of climbers who were preparing to summit the mountain one year after an avalanche killed twelve sherpas, in what had been the deadliest incident on the mountain to date. According to the newspaper, it was "an open secret" that a Street View camera was being carried to the summit.
Fredinburg posted frequent Instagram updates documenting his journey:
There are no adequate words. Today I find myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart that have broken into such tiny shards, I'll likely never find them all. Today I, and so many of my loved ones, lost an incredible friend. Dan Fredinburg was one-of-a-kind. Fearless. Funny. A dancing robot who liked to ride dinosaurs and chase the sun and envision a better future for the world. His brain knew how to build it. His heart was constantly evolving to push himself to make it so. He was one of my favorite human beings on Earth. He was one of the great loves of my life. He was one of my truest friends. He was an incredible brother, a brilliant engineer, and a damn good man. I'm devastated and simultaneously so deeply grateful to have known and loved him, and to have counted him as one of my tribe. I was so looking forward to our planned download of "all the things" when he got home. I am crushed that I will never hear that story. I am crushed knowing that there are over 1,000 people in Nepal suffering this exact feeling, knowing that they too will never hear another tale about an adventure lived from someone that they love. Disasters like this are often unquantifiable, the enormity is too much to understand. Please remember that each person who is now gone was someone's Dan. Please remember that our time on this Earth is not guaranteed. Please tell those you love that you do. Right now. This very minute. And please send a kiss to the sky for my friend Dan. His energy is so big and so bright, and it's all around us, so put some love toward him today. And then hug your loved ones again. #goodbyesweetfriend #savetheice #Nepal
Fredinburg was climbing Mr. Everest to raise money for OrphanGift in support of two Nepali orphanages. His loved ones are continuing to carry out his mission at Crowdrise through the widget below.
You can find a range of charities helping the relief effort by clicking below: