ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Three separate climbers were rescued by helicopter from approximately 19,000 feet Monday night, the National Park Service says.
All three were suffering from severe altitude-related illness.
The Park Service says park ranger Tucker Chenoweth and four patrol volunteers were descending from a summit of the mountain at about 7:45 p.m. when they encountered the first ill climber, 27-year-old Zeljko Dulic, of Serbia at 19,300 feet.
Rangers say Dulic was ataxic, with gross lack of coordination, and was staggering, and that he then collapsed. The patrol tried to walk him down, but he was too ill to safely descend the mountain.
The park’s A-Star B3 helicopter responded and used the “short-haul” technique to transport Dulic to the 14,200-foot camp.
While that rescue was in progress, a second climber approached the Park Service patrol.
Sho Tamagawa, 22 of Japan, traveling alone, similarly collapsed due to altitude sickness. The helicopter returned and short-hauled Tamagawa to the 14,200-foot camp as well, where the helicopter loaded both climbers into the helicopter and took them to the Kahiltna base camp at 7,200 feet.