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Japanese climber dies in crevasse fall near Mount Hunter

A climber died in a crevasse fall at the base of Mount Hunter’s North Buttress on Tuesday night, according to a news release from the Denali National Park.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 5:10 PM AKDT
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TALKEETNA, Alaska (KTUU) - A climber died in a crevasse fall at the base of Mount Hunter’s North Buttress on Tuesday night, according to a news release from the Denali National Park and Preserve.

A 43-year-old man from Kanagawa, Japan, fell through a weak ice bridge while unroped from his teammates near their camp, according to the release. The camp was at 8,000 feet on the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.

One of the climber’s teammates went to get help from mountaineering rangers at the Kahiltna Basecamp around 11:30 p.m.

Two patrol members skied back with the teammate to where the climber fell.

“One ranger rappelled into the crevasse as deep as possible, confirming that the ice bridge collapse had filled the narrow crevasse with a large volume of snow and ice approximately 80 feet below the glacier surface,” the release said.

The climber was presumed dead based on “the volume of ice, the distance of the fall, and the duration of the burial,” according to the release.

In the coming days, crews will assess the feasibility of recovering the climber’s body.

The Denali National Park and Preserve also noted in the release that the body of Matthias Rimml, who died while attempting to summit Denali earlier this month, was recovered on Tuesday in a long-line helicopter operation.

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