The following press release was issued by Denali National Park and Preserve yesterday evening. The climbers involved are not part of a Mountain Trip Alaska expedition. Our teams are below the section of route where the accident took place. Our thoughts are with the climbers and with the NPS rangers conducting search and rescue operations.
Talkeetna, AK - Denali National Park and Preserve rangers began an aerial and ground search for a climber who fell from the 16,000 foot ridge on the West Buttress to the Peters Glacier on the evening of Friday, May 19.
At around 2 am on Saturday morning, rangers were notified of the fall by the climber’s partner. At approximately 11 pm, Friday night the two were on the West Buttress just above the fixed line at around 16,000 feet. The partner witnessed the fall from the ridge but could not access or see where the fallen climber came to rest.
The National Park Service helicopter has been dispatched, but current cloudy weather conditions are preventing the helicopter from accessing the fallen climber’s location. Mountaineering rangers are also conducting a ground search from Denali Base Camp at 14,000 feet.
Search operations of the upper mountain will continue as weather conditions allow.