Climber’s preliminary autopsy results released

Skye Kinkade

High altitude cerebral edema due to high altitude sickness was the cause of 26 year old climber Thomas Bennett’s death, according to preliminary results of an autopsy performed in Shasta County on April 6, 2010.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff-Coroner’s office released the preliminary results today, April 7, and are still waiting for the results of toxicology to rule out any other potential cause of death.

No evidence of foul play was found during the autopsy, said Susan Gravenkamp, spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department.

Bennett, an experienced climber from Oakland, Calif. was found dead on the slopes of Mt. Shasta last Thursday after being stranded at around 14,000 feet due to inclement weather. His climbing partner and friend, Mark Thomas, 26, of Berkeley, Calif. was able to make his way off the mountain on his own on Monday, March 29.