“He Was Born to Climb”: Heartbroken Parents of Cheruiyot Kirui Speak of Last Conversation

Mt Everest Alpinist Cheruiyot Kirui


The parents of the late mountaineer Joshua Cheruiyot Kirui, who tragically lost his life on Wednesday during an expedition on Mt. Everest, have opened up about his deep-seated love for the outdoors and their final conversations with him.

Mt Everest Alpinist Cheruiyot Kirui

In their home in Chepterit village, Nandi County, Kirui’s father, Wilson Kenduywo, and mother, Ruth Kenduywo, reminisced about their son’s journey from an adventurous child to a passionate mountaineer. They described him as an avid and talented recreational runner who had a passion for heights since childhood.

Ruth Kenduywo shared emotional memories of her son, recalling how, even as a toddler, Kirui would eagerly climb the tallest trees in their compound. “His lack of fear for heights always gave me chills,” she confessed, her voice breaking.

The Kenduywos’ poignant recollections paint a picture of a young man who was destined to scale great heights, both literally and figuratively. Their heartfelt tribute serves as a reminder of the remarkable spirit of Joshua Cheruiyot Kirui, whose adventurous soul will be deeply missed.


Joshua Cheruiyot Kirui, the mountaineer who tragically died on Mt. Everest, found his passion for climbing as a child, his parents recount. In their home in Chepterit village, Nandi County, his mother, Ruth Kenduywo, and father, Wilson Kenduywo, shared their memories of a boy who always sought the heights.

Ruth recalled how young Joshua started by climbing the tallest trees in their compound, much to her anxiety. “He would climb to the top of our cypress and blue gum trees. I used to worry for him because the heights seemed so dangerous,” she said.

As Joshua grew older, his passion for climbing evolved. He started conquering mountains, and his family never doubted his skill. “It was his hobby, and he felt accomplished climbing mountains worldwide,” Wilson said. “He had just come back from Argentina before heading to Mt. Everest. He had climbed nearly all the major peaks, including Mt. Kilimanjaro.”

A few weeks before his Everest expedition, Joshua informed his family about his daring plan to summit without supplemental oxygen, a feat that would make history. His family, as always, supported him wholeheartedly and stayed in constant communication during his ascent.

“Three weeks ago, he called and asked me to set up WhatsApp so we could stay in touch more easily,” Wilson recalled.

The news of Joshua’s death came as a devastating blow to his family, who had always believed in his capabilities and resilience. Ruth remembered receiving a video from Joshua and his team just a kilometer away from the summit, filled with hope and anticipation.

“They were only 800 feet from the top, and I was told just one kilometer was left. As he began that final stretch, I held my breath, just wanting him to finish and come back safely,” Ruth said.

Joshua Cheruiyot Kirui’s dream of being the first African to summit Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen was tragically cut short, but his legacy as a fearless climber who sought to push boundaries remains a powerful tribute to his adventurous spirit.

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