Mountaineer Dies In Fall In Denali National Park And Preserve

The “Escalator” route on Mt. Johnson. The X indicates the approximate location of the rescue of the surviving climbing partner/NPS, J. Kayes

Two climbers roped together during a technical climb of an 8,400-foot peak in Denali National Park and Preserve fell roughly 1,000 feet, a mishap that killed one of them and left the other seriously injured.

The duo was attempting to reach the summit of Mount Johnson in the park’s Ruth Gorge on Thursday via a steep and technical route known as “the Escalator” on the mountain’s southeast face. The approximately 5,000-foot-route requires navigating a mix of steep rock, ice, and snow, a park release said.

Another climbing party witnessed the fall and contacted the Alaska Regional Communication Center about 10:45 p.m. local time Thursday. “The reporting party then descended to the accident victims and confirmed one climber had died in the fall. The responders dug a snow cave and attended to the surviving climber’s injuries throughout the night,” the release said.

On Friday morning the park’s high altitude rescue helicopter pilot and two mountaineering rangers made an initial reconnaissance of the accident zone and one of the rangers was short-hauled via long line to the awaiting climbers. Together, the ranger and the injured climber were short-hauled out to a flat glacier staging area, and then loaded into the helicopter for the flight to Talkeetna, the park reported. The patient was transferred to a LifeMed air ambulance at the Talkeetna State Airport for further care.

Later Friday the park helicopter and two rangers returned to the accident site to recover the body of the deceased climber but were turned back due to deteriorating weather and increasing cloud cover. Rangers will return to the site when weather conditions allow, the park release said.

The identity of the deceased climber was being withheld until family members could be notified.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply
Shopping cart