TAIPING, June 14 — The brother of a Malaysian climber who lost his life during a climbing expedition to Mount Denali in Alaska said his older sibling managed to send a WhatsApp message to the family saying that he was stranded at the peak.

Zaid Yusuf, 34, said he had never thought that Zulkifli, 37, would die while doing what he loved the most.

“He loved mountain climbing. He had climbed two of the highest peaks in the seven continents, namely Aconcagua in Argentina (6,960 metres) and Elbrus (5,642 metres) in Russia.

“He even scaled Mount Everest although not all the way up to the peak,” he told Bernama when met at his home in Kampung Tebok, near Trong, today.

Zaid said that the last time he saw his brother was two weeks before the expedition team departed from Kuala Lumpur to Alaska, United States, on May 14.

He said Zulkifli rarely shared about the extreme sports activities he was involved in, but he might have told some of his adventures to their sister Zarina, 35, since he had put her as his emergency contact.

According to Zaid, when the family received news that Zulkifli was stranded on the peak of Mount Denali, the highest peak in North America, they could only surrender to Allah SWT and pray for his safety.

“He managed to send a distress message to our sister, informing her that he was stranded and that the rescue team could not land in the area due to bad weather conditions.

“We received news about his death around 3am Malaysian time,” he added.

He said his brother was a man of few words but was greatly loved by his friends.

On June 1, Kelab Jelajah Alpine Malaysia announced that Zulkifli, one of the three Malaysian climbers who had been stranded at an altitude of 19,700 feet on Mount Denali since May 28, had passed away at 6am on May 29 (local time) while taking refuge in a snow cave known as Football Field.

Zulkifli’s remains are expected to arrive at the Bayan Lepas International Airport in Penang at 8.55am tomorrow on the Korean Airlines flight from Los Angeles.

The remains will be taken to the Al Mahmudiah Mosque in Kampung Temelok, Trong, for the funeral rites and laid to rest after the Zohor prayer. — Bernama