ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Two climbers died and two more were critically injured on Mount McKinley after a fall in Denali Pass Wednesday night, bringing the death toll for this year’s climbing season in the Alaska Range to seven in less than a month.
The National Park Service says mountaineers at the 17,200-foot high camp saw the four-person rope team fall from the pass, at nearly 18,000 feet, at about 11 p.m. Wednesday. Air National Guard pararescuemen from the 212th Rescue Squadron reached the falling climbers, confirming that two had died in the fall.
The other two climbers were placed in rescue litters and lowered to the high camp for emergency medical treatment. One patient was stable and responsive with a broken leg and head injury, but the other one was unresponsive with forced breathing, forcing ANG medics to work throughout the night maintaining an airway.
A Denali National Park helicopter reached the high camp early Thursday morning, separately evacuating the injured climbers to the Kahiltna base camp where they were placed aboard LifeMed air ambulances.