Puryear was climbing with David Gottlieb on the peak. The pair had made several notable ascents together in recent years:
Email information from Mike Gauthier has been posted on Supertopo.com. An extract is below:
"I don't have a lot of information at this time, but the word is that Joe fell through a cornice. He was with David at the time, but David did not witness the event. He ascended the top the ridgeline after putting on his crampons only to find Joe's tracks leading to a broken ledge. Fearing the worst, he descended 1,500 feet to find Joe, who did not survive the fall, and shortly there after retrieved the sat phone enabling him to make a call to the US. David was alone at the time, but does have the help of one Sherpa at base camp. They are in a very remote region without rescue services and it's unclear what his next steps will be. For now, I am thinking about David as he descends the mountain back to base camp."