Renowned doctor and climber dies on Aconcagua descent

Tragic end to physician's summit on Aconcagua

Tragedy Strikes on Aconcagua as Renowned Physician and Climber Passes Away

Kshamata Skeete, a 49-year-old orthopaedic physician and avid mountaineer, tragically lost her life on Aconcagua, Argentina. She was descending from the peak, which stands at 6,960 metres, the highest in both the western and southern hemispheres, after reaching the summit. During her descent in the Piedras Blancas area, 5,500 metres above sea level, Skeete suffered a heart attack. Despite immediate action from her guide, Gabriel Fraccia, and resuscitation efforts, she could not be revived. Her death marks the fourth fatality this climbing season on the formidable Aconcagua. Skeete, born on April 5, 1974, in Charlotte, North Carolina, was a highly respected doctor specialising in sports injuries and hand orthopaedics. She was affiliated with the Carolinas HealthCare System and the Carolina Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Centre.

*“Kshamata was not only a remarkable doctor but also an extraordinary individual whose passion for adventure led her to scale some of the world’s most challenging peaks.”*

Skeete’s journey from her birthplace in North Carolina to the summit of Aconcagua was marked by an impressive academic and professional career. She graduated summa cum laude from UNC Chapel Hill in 1996 with a B.S. in biology and went on to earn her medical degree from Duke University in 2000. Specialising in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine, Skeete dedicated her life to healing others, particularly athletes and individuals with musculoskeletal conditions.

Her pursuit of mountaineering was fuelled by a deep-seated love for the outdoors and adventure. This latest expedition to Aconcagua was a testament to her enduring spirit and determination. The conditions on the mountain were harsh, with strong winds reaching speeds of over 100km/h, which may have contributed to the extreme stress on her body leading to the unfortunate cardiac incident.

*“She had a zest for life and a kindness that touched everyone she met. Her loss is profoundly felt by her colleagues, friends, and the many patients whose lives she improved.”*

Skeete’s untimely death is mourned by her family, including her parents Mark and Claire Skeete, and the wider community of climbers and medical professionals. Her legacy as a compassionate caregiver and a fearless adventurer will continue to inspire those who knew her and learned of her remarkable life and contributions.

Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.