Climber found dead after fall from Denali, North America’s tallest peak

Authorities on Monday found the body of a climber believed to have fallen from North America’s tallest peak during a solo climb last week, according to the National Park Service.

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Mountaineering rangers found the climber, whose name was not immediately released, after a family member reported that they had not been heard from in several days. The climber had been keeping in touch with family regularly through an InReach communication device which authorities used to determine their likely location, officials said.

Satellite location data from the climber’s InReach account showed that they were likely at 17,000 feet on the mountain and that the device had not moved since Thursday. Rangers believe the climber likely fell from the Denali Pass traverse on that day.

Another climbing team told authorities that they saw the climber one day before the suspected fall traversing from the 17,200 feet plateau to Denali Pass at 18,200 feet, according to park officials. Their empty tent was found at the top of the 16,200-foot ridge, officials said.

The climber’s body was found by a mountaineering patrol who searched the probable fall area with a spotting scope at 17,000 feet on the mountain’s West Buttress route.

“Recovery efforts will be attempted when weather conditions allow,” officials said.

Since 1980, at least 14 climbers have died in falls along the section of the West Buttress route where the solo climber was found, officials said. The death marked the second in Denali National Park and Preserve in recent weeks. On the night of April 25, a 52-year-old climber died and their partner suffered serious injuries in a 1,000-foot fall from Mt. Johnson, according to the NPS.

As of Monday, the NPS said there were 352 climbers on Denali’s West Buttress route. Most are “much lower on the mountain this early in the climbing season,” officials said.

The climbing season typically begins in early May and lasts through early July, according to park officials.

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