An Israeli national has died while mountain climbing in the country of Ecuador in South America, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
According to the ministry, the 25-year-old hiker fell to his death while climbing the Cotopaxi stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains. Cotopaxi is the second highest mountain in Ecuador, measuring 5,897 meters in height.
The Israeli Embassy in Ecuador said they received reports about the tragedy late on the night between Monday and Tuesday.
Israel’s Ambassador to Ecuador Ze’ev Harel said he contacted the Foreign Ministry’s department of Israeli citizens abroad in order to have the man’s family informed of his death and to begin processes of transferring his body for burial in Israel.
“The family was informed of the sad news, and the department of Israeli citizens abroad is working to assist in this case in whatever way is needed,” the embassy said.
It appears the man has been exploring the country by himself for a few months, and likely fell during his climb. Rangers at the nature reserve near the volcano found the hiker’s body and documents, including his Israeli passport.
Rabi Rotem Tomer, a Chabad member in Ecuador, said that “Cotopaxi is coated with snow and is very nice to look at. You need a professional guide with you to climb it. Hikers who enjoy nature go there, and usually don’t hike alone. The volcano is covered by ice and difficult terrain, and having a guide is recommended.”
Mountain climbing is usually considered a safe and popular activity for most tourists visiting the South American country, with hundreds of tourists hiring local guides to see their way to the top of the mountain.
Many, however, find themselves winded and tired after a while, and only half the people who start the climb usually reach the summit.