Dan Fredinburg, the Google executive killed in an avalanche during the deadly earthquake in Nepal, was described as “superhuman” by his friends, who now mourn his loss.
An adventurer at heart, 33-year-old Dan Fredinburg worked at Google as an executive and stood an imposing 6-feet, 4-inches tall. The athletic man was not only an experienced climber, but had swam with sharks and was planning to kite surf across Antarctica after reaching Mount Everest’s summit, according to Los Angeles Times.
However, all that was trumped when the Google executive was killed alongside two other climbers when the earthquake hit Nepal, triggering a devastating avalanche that took everything in its path, including the base camp where their group was stationed.
The BBC reports at least 200 climbers have now been rescued around Mount Everest, after a massive, 7.8 magnitude earthquake triggered avalanches on Saturday. The numbers keep changing, but news agencies indicate around 100 Americans are missing in the aftermath.
After news broke that Google exec Dan Fredinburg was among the dead in Nepal, his friends and loved ones were left in shock, according to his best friend Dr. Mike North.
“Everyone’s reaction was, ‘No, not Dan,'” said North,. “There was nothing that could stop this man.”
Dan Fredinburg’s distraught girlfriend, Ashley Arenson, said her boyfriend was climbing Mount Everest with a team that included fellow Google employees Michele Battelli and Flo Nagl. The group was tight knit and had a long history of climbing together, Arenson explained.
“They were able to be with Dan and hold him when he passed,” Arenson said.
Arenson and North say that Fredinburg was prepared for the climb and was beyond excited to be on Everest. The Google executive had attempted to reach the summit once last year, but had to ironically cancel because of another avalanche. Arenson described her boyfriend as a “modern-day superhero.”
“I got to speak with him almost every day (while he was on Everest), and he would send me emails and text messages with pictures of him with this huge smile on his face on top of these massive glaciers.”
“The impact he had on people was contagious. I hope it continues on.”
Part of his work with the Google privacy team included taking pictures for the search engine’s “street view” application, according to his family and friends. To do this, he traveled to remote locations gathering images.
On the climb that took his life, Google executive Dan Fredinburg was trying to bring attention to two Nepalese orphanages. After his untimely death, his friends have launched a fundraising campaign in his honor for the children affected by the avalanche.
Fredinburg’s sister, Megan, posted a touching tribute to his late brother on his Instagram, sharing some details about his death along with the last picture he took.
“This is Dan’s 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.”
In memory of Dan Fredinburg, Google has issued a statement mourning his loss and announcing the company will commit $1 million in earthquake relief, according to a previous report in the Inquisitr.
[Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images, Dan Fredinburg/Instagram]