Johns Hopkins junior dies in mountain climbing accident in Argentina

Francis Keenan, 28, was a junior majoring in sociology at JHU

A Johns Hopkins University junior died last week while mountain climbing in Argentina, Dean of Student Life Susan K. Boswell announced in a message to students, faculty, and staff today.

Francis Keenan, who was majoring in sociology, was lost while climbing Aconcagua—the highest peak in the Americas—in the Andes mountain range. According to news reports, rescue teams began searching for Keenan, 28, and his climbing partner, 22-year-old Jarod Von Rueden, when their rescue beacon was activated on Dec. 31.

The pair had reportedly reached the summit of the nearly 23,000-foot mountain but are thought to have fallen on the way down. Efforts to recover the bodies are currently under way.

Keenan, who was from Clarks Summit, Pa., originally came to Johns Hopkins with the Class of 2007, but later withdrew, Boswell said. He returned in the fall of 2012 to resume his studies.

"He was a passionate, highly trained, and experienced mountaineer and hoped to work as a guide for mountain expeditions," Boswell wrote.

"I have been in touch with Frank's family to express our sympathy and concern and to offer any assistance the university can provide. I also offer my deepest sympathies and most sincere condolences to Frank's Johns Hopkins friends. I ask everyone in our community to offer support to any of those friends who may need it at this most difficult time."

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