Ray Genet

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Ray Genet (July 27, 1931 – October 2, 1979), often referred to by the nickname Pirate, was a Swiss-born American mountaineer. He was the first guide on North America's highest mountain, Alaska's Denali (Mount McKinley). Genet is the grandfather of actress Q'Orianka Kilcher.


Genet's association with Denali began in 1967, when, although he had no previous mountaineering experience, he participated in the first successful winter expedition to Denali's summit, led by Gregg Blomberg; the expedition is described in Minus 148 Degrees: The First Winter Ascent of Mount McKinley (1970) by Art Davidson.[1]


Genet died on October 2, 1979 while descending Mount Everest, succumbing to hypothermia in the night along with his fellow climber Hannelore Schmatz. Two Sherpa guides, Sungdare Sherpa and Ang Jangbo, had stayed with them in a bivouac at 28,000 feet, but Genet did not survive until morning;[2] the group was running low on bottled oxygen, and Schmatz died trying to get down to South Col with Sungdare later that day.[2]



  1. ^ Davidson 1999.
  2. ^ a b Marshall, Roger (May 1986). "The King of Everest". Backpacker. p. 26.


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