Before Google executive Dan Fredinburg traveled to Nepal earlier this month for an expedition to Mount Everest, his girlfriend collected a number of letters from close friends to read when he reached the summit. Tragically, the 33-year-old's life was cut short this weekend after the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal sent deadly avalanches sweeping over base camp.

While it's unclear if Fredinburg read any of the letters prior to his passing, a close friend of his named Max Stossel felt compelled to share what he had written. 

"Dan is the most interesting, adventurous, human I've ever known," Stossel wrote on Instagram. "He was a silent force for justice in the world in a way I thought only existed in fiction, someone who cared about others so much that he sometimes had trouble looking them in the eye. Someone who created fun and mischief out of thin air. Someone who broke up fights by walking into the middle of them and dancing with both fighters. Someone who I think about almost every day, through the lens of 'What would Dan do?'"


A photo posted by Max Stossel (@maxstossel) on

Apr 26, 2015 at 7:51am PDT
Regarding the letter, Stossel added that while he hoped Dan had a chance to read it before the disaster, his spirit likely already knows the words. "I hope he can somehow feel it now, along with the unbelievable amount of love and stories being shared around the world in his honor," he said. 

Below is the final letter from Max Stossel to Dan Fredinburg. 


Dan (dan dan dan)

You must be really high up for this written Echo (echo echo). Everyone you know and love is eventually going to die (die die die). When we do, we leave behind our stories.

Those stories are told and passed on, impacting the lives of others until they are stories (stories stories stories).

Your story has already greatly impacted mine for the better. With each adventure you return with stories that most people wouldn't dream of experiencing themselves (selves selves selves).

Thank you for pushing the human race to be greater, more daring, and to truly live life rather than survive it (it it it).

I love you, brother. Please return safely with stories (stories stories).

And even if you don't... We'll all be horrified, saddened, and heartbroken, that we can't create new stories with you but we'll also know that you've already lived the equivalent of at least 100 lifetimes.

You are a f****** champion.

Safe, wonderful & breathtaking journey.


Max Stossel (ossel ossel)


To help support efforts on the ground in Nepal, Fredinburg's family has set up a Crowdrise fundraiser in his memory

"Our friend Dan Fredinburg was climbing Everest on behalf of OrphanGift in support of two Nepali orphanages when the earthquake struck," they write. "Please donate to honor his memory and carry on his mission. All funds will help OrphanGift provide urgent aid for the children effected by the disaster and restoring structural damage."

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

The inspiring letter carried by climber killed on Everest
Dan Fredinburg, one of three Americans killed in the earthquake that struck Nepal, was given several notes from friends to read at the summit.