May 20, 2012 in Nation/World

McKinley climber dies after fall

Associated Press

DENALI NATIONAL PARK and PRESERVE, Alaska – A climber died of injuries after falling during a climb of Alaska’s Mount McKinley, National Park officials said Saturday.

A park release said the climber fell about 1,100 feet Friday while following the West Buttress route to the summit.

Witnesses said the climber fell at about 16,200 feet. He was trying to recover a backpack that had started to slide downhill.

A park service mountaineering patrol was behind the climber’s three-person team and called for a helicopter.

The victim’s body was flown to Talkeetna, Alaska, after rangers confirmed that the climber had died of injuries.

The victim’s identity was not immediately released pending notification of family members overseas.

Mount McKinley is North America’s highest mountain.

Friday’s fatal fall was the first serious incident on McKinley during the 2012 mountaineering season.

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