Everest Avalanche Victim Dug Himself, Wife Out, Died Hours Later

Mountaineers look out from the summit of Mount Everest, May 23, 2013. (Tshering Sherpa/AFP/Getty Images)

An Australian climber who survived six hours buried beneath snow from an avalanche near Mount Everest died after digging himself and his wife free, according to Australia's ABC News.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia confirmed the death of Dean Higgins, 60, to ABC News today. It released a statement noting that the Australian consulate in Beijing is working with Higgins' wife.

The couple was part of a Tibetan-led tour group hiking near Everest, on the Chinese side of the mountain, when the avalanche occurred Tuesday, according to details reported by ABC.

After Higgins dug himself and wife Wendy out from beneath the snow, the couple made their way to the bottom of the mountain, a trek that took eight hours, according to the report.

"For those who knew Dean, you will remember him as the most beautiful man who loved his family and was a constant support to Wendy and the business," Jessica Darnbrough, a spokeswoman for Higgins' company, Mortgage Choice, told ABC.

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