Climber Dies When Ice Bridge Collapses Into Crevasse in Alaska

The 43-year-old Japanese man wasn't roped to his fellow climbers at the time
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2022 11:46 AM CDT
Climber Dies When Ice Bridge Collapses Into Crevasse in Alaska
Mount Hunter is shown at sunset.   (Getty Images / mlharing)

(Newser) – A climber from Japan is presumed dead following a fall into a crevasse near Mount Hunter in Alaska's Denali National Park and Preserve, officials said. 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.

"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," the statement said. Meanwhile, the AP reports the park said it had recovered on Tuesday the body of Austrian solo climber Matthias Rimml following his death earlier this month on Denali, North America's tallest peak. The Anchorage Daily News reports Rimml was the first registered climber on Denali this season; it's believed he fell during a stretch of the West Buttress route that's known to be particularly dangerous.

(Read more Denali National Park stories.)

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