Colorado Hiker Found Dead at Highest Peak in Famous Mountain Range

by Anna Dunn

A Colorado mountain climber has been found dead in a famous mountain range in Bolivia. The 24-year-old hiker, Daniel Granberg died on the second day of his trek on the famous Illimani mountain while with two guides. Granberg was traversing one of the mountain’s most difficult trails.  This is according to The Denver Post.

“We found Daniel lifeless, seated at the summit. His lungs did not hold out; he couldn’t get up to continue,” Sergio Condori Vallejos, a mountain guide who works with Bolivian Andean Rescue and the man who led the recovery effort said in a statement.

Altitude Played a Factor in Granberg’s Death

Granberg diet at 20,391 feet at one of the most iconic points of the hike. The young climber had been in Bolivia for months and had climbed multiple peaks in the area. The guides called on rescuers. They needed two days to carry his body down the mountain.

According to his mother, Jean Granberg, Daniel died of high-altitude pulmonary distress. The hiker suffered some shortness of breath the night beforehand and a mild headache, but nothing immediately indicated his life was in danger.

High-altitude pulmonary distress is theorized to occur when the vessels in the lungs constrict. This puts more pressure on the lungs and eventually causes fluid to leak into the air sacs.

Granberg grew up in the mountains of Montrose, Colorado. He graduated from Princeton University with a math degree.

“Twenty-four years is not long enough, and I just wish somehow there’d been some kind of warning,” Jean Granberg said. “If he had felt like he was in danger in any way, he would have come down the mountain. But I think it happened so fast.”

Granberg’s mother described him as an adventurous and warm-hearted individual with friends all over the world.

Daniel Granberg was a subcontractor who did remote programming for the U.S Department of Energy. He taught himself physics because his high school didn’t have a program, then landed a top score on the AP placement exam.

His sister describes him as the smartest person she knew.

A GoFundme Has Been Organized to Bring the Young Hiker’s Body Home

One of his former teachers, Tracy Lightsey, organized a GoFundme to bring Daniel’s body home.

“The response from people is entirely because this young man was an incredible human and he touched people wherever he was,” Lightsey said.

$24,000 has been raised as of this morning, Monday, September 6th.

The organizers recently wrote a thank you note in an update.

“We are overwhelmed by the love and support from so many people from all over the world,” they wrote in a September 4th update. “It is comforting to see that our sweet Daniel touched so many lives at this deeper level. Your financial contributions help as we navigate bringing Daniel home to Colorado.”