Climber Dies After Falling From Highest Mountain Peak In North America

By Bill Galluccio

May 21, 2024

A View while Climbing Denali Mountain in Alaska
Photo: Jacob Kupferman / Moment / Getty Images

A solo climber died after falling from the tallest mountain in North America. The National Park Service said that the climber was attempting to scale the West Buttress route on Mount Denali in Alaska. 

Officials said that the climber's family contacted park rangers on Sunday (May 19) after they hadn't heard from him in a few days. They said he was checking in with them using an InReach communication device, but they hadn't heard from him in several days.

Mountaineering rangers located the man's tent at 16,200 feet but found it empty. After speaking to several other climbers, they learned that the man was last seen on Wednesday traversing from the 17,200-foot plateau to Denali Pass at 18,200 feet.

Park rangers used his InReach account to locate his last known GPS coordinates. They showed that he was up on the mountain around 17,000 feet and hadn't moved since last Thursday, which indicated he likely fell off the mountain.

Search crews were dispatched to the location and found the man's body. Due to harsh weather conditions, they had to secure his body at the site and return to camp. Officials said they will retrieve his body when the weather conditions improve.

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