A Utah climber with a long-held dream to climb the highest mountains on the planet’s seven continents died on top of Mount Everest after reaching his final summit, one of his daughters said. Don Cash, 55, died “at the peak of Mt. Everest accomplishing his dream of summiting the 7 summits,” his daughter Danielle Cook posted on Facebook on Wednesday.
Cook told NBC’s “Today Show” that a cause of death has not been officially determined but that family members believe he suffered a heart attack.
Before he headed for the summit, Cash texted his son Tanner that he felt “so blessed to be on the mountain that I read about for the last 40 years.” Cash said on his LinkedIn page that he left his job as a sales executive to try to join the so-called seven summits club of people who have climbed the highest mountains on each continent.
In January, he wrote, he climbed Mt Vinson Masif, Antarctica’s tallest peak.
Friend and former co-worker Josh Ray said Cash was “larger than life, everyone loved him, and he always left you with a smile.” Besides mountaineering, Cash loved vintage cars and wrote on Facebook that he owned a 1952 Buick Super Riviera modified into a land-speed racing car called “Bombshell Betty” that he drove on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
He is survived by his wife Monette and their four children, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
His daughter Brandalin Cash told “Today” that “there’s so much peace that comes from knowing that he didn’t suffer, that it was the best way to go.”