Swiss Man’s Estate Sues Over Alaska Climbing Death

By BECKY BOHRER | April 29, 2013

The family of a Swiss man who died during a 2011 descent of Mount McKinley has sued the guide company, saying Mountain Trip International’s negligence resulted in Beat Niederer’s death.

Attorneys for Mountain Trip say Niederer was aware of the “substantial risk” involved in climbing the highest peak in North America and knowingly assumed the risk. They have asked that the lawsuit be dismissed.

The 38-year-old Niederer died while descending after a successful summit of the mountain in May 2011.

The lawsuit alleges the four-member summit team, led by guide David Staeheli, was not properly outfitted and lacked the means to stay together and protect itself from the hazardous conditions and wind.

The lawsuit says Niederer had prior climbing experience but never at altitudes significantly above 14,000 feet (4,270 meters).

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