4 Canadian Climbers 1992-05-31

92-233 - Denali (Alaska) - Four Climbing Fatalities

A search was begun for four climbers on Mt. McKinley after they were reported overdue. An airplane search was initiated, and the foursome was spotted making their way across an icy gully. The medical camp at 14,000 feet was notified by radio, and a ranger there watched the men through binoculars. As he watched, the four slipped and fell 3,000 feet to their deaths. The bodies were found at 16,000 feet, but it's not clear if they've yet been removed from the mountain. The accident brings the death toll for climbers this year to 11; the previous high was eight in 1967 and 1980. Details to follow. (Associated Press news report, 6/3) 92-233 - Denali (Alaska) - Follow-up on Climbing Fatalities The four Canadian climbers who were killed on Mt. McKinley on May 31st were attempting to traverse the top of the Messner Couloir when the fall occurred. Body recovery by ground team was ruled out because of the extremely unstable snow conditions discovered by ranger Daryl Miller's team on Monday when it went to the site to confirm the deaths. Recovery was accomplished by the park's Lama helicopter employing a short-haul line and hook. (cc:Mail message from John Quinley, PA/ARO, 6/3)