The family of an Australian man who died while climbing Mount Everest have spoken out.

Jason Bernard Kennison, 40, conquered Everest’s summit before falling sick during his descent and dying on May 19, his family said in a statement.

“It is with absolute broken hearts that our dearly beloved brother, son, cousin, friend passed away Friday 19th climbing Mt Everest,” the post read.

Grief-stricken loved ones have paid tribute to Kennison, describing him as “full of life”.

“He would put his mind to something, set a goal and achieve it,” his family said.

“Whether that be playing footy as a kid, winning motocross races, working around the world in the mining industry and in high-risk environments.

“He wanted to raise awareness and money for Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, wanting to help others who had similar struggles to himself.

“We are so proud of his achievements and we take great solace in knowing he made it to the summit. The highest place on this earth.”

Jason’s mother Gillian Kennison said her son was “so determined and so full of life”.

“He was amazing … an amazing son, an amazing brother and uncle,” she told reporters.

“And he was on top of the world … literally on top of the world”.

The Kennison family revealed Jason had made it to the top of the mountain and was in good spirits.

“He had his photo taken on top of the summit,” they said.

“He was proud of himself, however, during the descent, he suddenly fell ill and that’s when he passed away.”

The family went on to say that their son went through all the proper training he could to prepare to reach the Everest summit.

“We would like to send our greatest love and thanks to Nepal where he had Sherpas go above and beyond to help try to bring him home,” they said.

“We are worlds apart but united through our love for Jason. His family are heartbroken and he will be forever missed.”

Kennison was climbing to raise money for Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA).

Rather than flowers, his family has asked others to support Kennison’s fundraising page.

In a crippling blow, Kennison’s family has been told it’s too dangerous to retrieve his body.

Local media reports his remains are still in the mountain’s balcony area.

Expedition company Asian Trekking helped Kennison organise the trip, and managing director Dawa Steven Sherpa said two guides accompanied the Aussie when he became unresponsive.

“They ran out of oxygen and bringing supplement bottles from Camp IV couldn’t be possible due to excessive winds,” Sherpa told AFP.

“It was high wind and bad weather that prevented them (from) going back to bring him down. He died at the Balcony area.”

Kennison, a diesel mechanic who was living in Perth, was involved in a horrific car crash when he was 22 years old.

He said he spiralled into depression after being told he would no longer be able to work as a mechanic given multiple broken bones and a spinal cord injury.

After years of rehabilitation, Kennison learnt to walk again and was able to go back to work.

However, about four years ago, he returned to rehab due to nerve damage in his spine.

“A personal goal for me is that fulfilment. To put together all my experiences and just be the person I know I can with integrity and live with all my beliefs and values and just accept that I have had injuries, but I’m still OK.”

Image credit: Facebook

This article first appeared on Over60.