Climber Killed in Avalanche Identified
Contact: Maureen McLaughlin, (907) 733-9103
The climber who died due to an avalanche near the Ruth Gorge on Thursday, April 28 has been identified as Chris Lackey, age 39, of Houston, Texas. He was with one of two guided parties that were camped overnight on the 'Root Canal', a commonly used glacier landing strip and camping area that lied directly south fo the Moose's Tooth. A large serac, or column of ice, at the eastern end of the glacier collapsed, shedding ice and snow onto the camp. Both camps were buried in the debris, and everyone was thrown from their tents. The four uninjured climbers were able to quickly extricate themselves and attend to Lackey, who was found to be unconscious and barely breathing.
While being transported from the accident site, rangers determined that lackey had died from his injuries. The NPS helicopter flew his remains back to Talkeetna, and then returned to evacuate the surviving climbers, all of whom had lost their climbing gear, tents, and extra clothing in the avalanche.
Did You Know?
The vast landscapes of interior Alaska are changing. Large glaciers are receding, permafrost is melting and woody plants are spreading. Comparison of "then-and-now" photographs and data from major vegetation monitoring should allow detection, understanding and potential management of these changes.