Japanese Climber Dies In Denali National Park Accident
Sad news from Denali National Park’s Kahiltna Glacier, where a 43-year-old climber from Japan was killed in a tragic accident. Here’s more from Alaska Public Media:
The park, in a statement, said a 43-year-old climber from Kanagawa, Japan, was unroped from his teammates when he fell through a weak ice bridge near their camp at approximately 8,000 feet on the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.
Mountaineering rangers with the park were notified of the fall, at the base of Mount Hunter’s North Buttress, late Tuesday, the statement said. A ranger rappelled into the crevasse as far as possible and found that the ice bridge collapse had filled the crevasse with a large volume of snow and ice, the statement said.
Here’s the full statement from Denali National Park:
ALKEETNA, AK — Denali National Park and Preserve mountaineering rangers were notified of a crevasse fall at the base of Mount Hunter’s North Buttress late Tuesday night, May 17. A 43-year-old climber from Kanagawa, Japan, was un-roped from his teammates when he fell through a weak ice bridge near their camp at approximately 8,000 feet on the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.
A teammate of the fallen climber sought help from the NPS mountaineering rangers at the Kahiltna Basecamp at approximately 11:30 pm Tuesday. Two NPS patrol members skied back to the accident site with the reporting teammate. One ranger rappelled into the crevasse as deep as possible, confirming that the ice bridge collapse had filled the narrow crevasse with a large volume of snow and ice approximately 80 feet below the glacier surface. The ranger was unable to descend further. The climber is presumed dead based on the volume of ice, the distance of the fall, and the duration of the burial. The feasibility of a body recovery will be investigated in the days ahead.
Denali also announced that the body of a missing Austrian climber has also been found in the park:
In follow up to the mountaineering fatality at 17,000-feet on Denali at the beginning of May, the body of Austrian solo climber Matthias Rimml was recovered via a long-line helicopter operation on Tuesday, May 17.