Tacoma scientist, avid climber dies at Mount Everest Base Camp

TACOMA -- Tacoma environmental scientist and avid climber Lisa Berntsen has died from a "sudden and unexpected medical event" at the Mount Everest Base Camp, The Mountaineers group announced Thursday. She was 49.

The outdoor-education nonprofit organization said Berntsen was on a Mountaineers Global Adventures trip to climb Everest when she died.

"At the time of her death, Lisa Berntsen was on the ultimate adventure of her life, weaving together the things that held the most meaning to her: adventure, pushing limits, physical challenge, leading others, inspiring her husband and daughter—all  in the realm of the exquisite natural beauty of the Himalaya," the website said.

The group said Berntsen, a UW graduate, was an environmental scientist at GeoEngineers in Tacoma.

"Lisa was an active participant and activity leader at The Mountaineers in the Tacoma branch. She led trips as a climb and scramble leader and had achieved several notable summits in Washington state and abroad," The Mountaineers website said.

She is survived by her husband, Royce Poetter, and daughter, Alicia Stephens. Memorial services at The Mountaineers are pending, the group said.