Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is said to be "numb but heartbroken" after learning yesterday that her husband Clifton Maloney died on his way down from a mountain hiking expedition in Tibet. Reports are that 71-year-old Clifton Maloney's final words were "I’m the happiest man in the world. I’ve just summited a beautiful mountain." The couple have been married for 33 years and have two daughters, ages 28 and 21. Friends describe he and the congresswoman, who represents parts of Manhattan and Queens, as "unbelievably intertwined" and "one of the happiest couples" they know.

Mr. Maloney reportedly died in his sleep while at base camp of Cho Oyu in Tibet after reaching its summit Thursday—the sixth highest peak in the world. He was an active outdoorsman who had finished the New York City Marathon 20 times. Clifton Maloney worked as a very successful investment banker, a vice president at Goldman Sachs before starting his own investment firm, C. H. W. Maloney & Company, in 1981. Yesterday Congresswoman Maloney told the News, "We're trying to get him off the mountain. It's just so terrible." There was speculation that Secretary of State Clinton may intervene because because China doesn't allow helicopters into its air space.