Mountain Climber Presumed Dead After Falling Into Crevasse At National Park
By Bill Galluccio
May 20, 2022
A Japanese hiker is presumed dead after falling into a crevasse at Denali National Park in Alaska. The National Parks Service said that the unnamed 43-year-old hiker was near the base of Mount Hunter's North Buttress when he "fell through a weak ice bridge near their camp at approximately 8,000 feet on the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier."
The climber was not roped to the other climbers as he attempted to cross the ice bridge. After he fell, a member of his team contacted NPS mountaineering rangers at the Kahiltna Basecamp for help. Rescue workers responded and attempted to rappel down the crevasse to locate the climber.
"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 National Parks Service wrote in a statement.
Officials said they would work to determine the feasibility of sending a team to recover the man's body.
This is not the first fatality in Denali National Park this year. The body of Austrian solo climber Matthias Rimml, who died in an accident earlier this month, was recovered via a long-line helicopter operation on Tuesday (May 17).