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Peruvian climber dies on Nepal's Mt Makalu

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Kathmandu (AFP)

Experienced Peruvian climber Richard Hidalgo was found dead Wednesday on Mount Makalu, the world's fifth-highest mountain, expedition organisers in Nepal said.

The body of the 52-year-old was found in his tent at 6,600 metres (21,650 feet) by Sherpa guides who went to check after he did not wake up.

"The guides said that it seemed he had died in his sleep. We are figuring out how to bring his body back," Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks told AFP.

Hidalgo was climbing the 8,481-metre (27,825-feet) Makalu as part of a project to summit the 14 highest mountains in the world without supplementary oxygen by 2021 to mark the bicentennial of Peru's independence.

Hidalgo had been posting comments on his "incredible expedition" on social media on Tuesday.

Considered an accomplished climber, Hidalgo had already been up five mountains above 8,000 metres, including the challenging Annapurna.

The incident comes two weeks after a Malaysian climber was rescued from Mt. Annapurna after spending two nights in the open, close to the summit.

He later died in hospital.

Hundreds of climbers flock each year to Nepal -- home to eight of the world's 14 highest peaks -- creating a lucrative mountain tourism industry for the impoverished country.

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