The following was issued by the NPS in Denali National Park and Preserve. None of the Mountain Trip teams were involved in the accident. We are incredibly appreciative of the amazing efforts of the NPS ranger team who rescued the fallen climber!
Fallen Climber Located on Upper Peters Glacier
Date: May 20, 2023
Contact: Sharon Stiteler, (907) 683-9583
Contact: Maureen Gualtieri, (907) 733-9103
Talkeetna, AK - Denali National Park and Preserve rangers have located a climber who fell from a 16,000 foot ridge on the West Buttress to the Peters Glacier on the evening of Friday, May 19. A mountaineering ranger was able to evacuate the patient who had minor injuries from 15,100 feet.
Tatsuto Hatanaka a 24 year old male from Setagaya-ku, Japan was climbing with a partner on Friday, on the West Buttress climbing route on Denali just above the fixed line at 16,200 feet. At approximately 11 pm, Hatanaka’s partner witnessed his fall from the ridge but could not access or see where he came to rest.
At around 2 am on Saturday morning, rangers were notified of the fall. The National Park Service helicopter was dispatched and could see Hatanaka’s location, but cloudy weather conditions prevented the helicopter from accessing the area.
Two mountaineering rangers conducted a ground search from the 14,200 Foot Camp and could get visuals on Hatanaka’s location at approximately 15,100 feet on the upper Peters Glacier. Four more mountaineering rangers were on their way from the 14,200 Camp to assist in the search and rescue. Alaska Rescue Coordination Center had a C-130 fixed-wing military aircraft looking for holes in the cloud ceiling to direct park service’s high-altitude helicopter to Hatanaka’s location. The patient was transferred by Life Med helicopter to a hospital.