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Author Topic: Climber falls to death on Denali  (Read 6318 times)


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Climber falls to death on Denali
« on: Jul 1 2002, 14:07 »

This is mountain's first fatality since '98, again on the treacherous Denali Pass.

From Yahoo news:

Canadian Climber Dies in Fall on Mount McKinley
Mon Jul 1, 9:42 PM ET

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A Canadian climber who had scaled Alaska's Mount McKinley alone died after he fell about 1,000 feet (300 meters) while descending from the peak's upper reaches, the National Park Service said on Monday.
It was the first death on McKinley, North America's tallest peak, since 1998, the Park Service said.

Michael Heck, 61, of Whitevale, Ontario, fell early Sunday morning, when he was descending from a challenging spot known as Denali Pass, about 18,000 (5,490 meters) feet up the 20,230-foot (6,194-meter) mountain, said the Park Service.
A park ranger and several climbers camped out at 17,200 feet (5,240 meters) saw Heck fall, the Park Service said.
Bad weather has delayed efforts to recover the body, said Theresa Philbrick, a spokeswoman for Denali National Park. The weather was rainy and windy, with snow above 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), she said.

"Climbing is risky anyhow. Solo climbers face that risk alone," she said, adding that rangers try to discourage solo expeditions.

A total of 1,231 people have registered with the Park Service to climb McKinley this year, and there were 183 climbers on the mountain on Monday, Philbrick said.
Most climbs are conducted between late April and early July, when days are long and the snow is best for climbing and landing ski planes.

Although Sunday's accident was the first McKinley climbing fatality in four years, there have been recent deaths on other peaks in Denali National Park. Two weeks ago, the bodies of three Anchorage-area brothers were found on neighboring Mount Foraker, a 17,400-foot (5,304-meter) peak. They also died in a fall.

« Last Edit: Jul 2 2002, 12:40 by 7summits »
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
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