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Italian Climber Dies in Fall from Denali Pass

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Date: May 16, 2011
Contact: Maureen McLaughlin, (907) 733-9103

Mountaineers at the 17,200-foot high camp on Mt. McKinley witnessed a climber fall from Denali Pass near 18,000 feet at approximately 10:00 am on Monday, May 16. NPS mountaineering ranger Matt Hendrickson and three patrol members responded to the fallen climber and confirmed that Luciano Colombo, age 67 of Mandello, Italy, had died of traumatic injuries sustained in the 1,000-foot fall. At the time he fell, Colombo was beginning the traverse from Denali Pass to the 17,200-foot camp along a 45-degree slope of hard, windblown snowpack. He was travelling ahead of his two teammates and was unroped at the time of the fall.

Weather at the time of the accident was clear with relatively calm winds. Mr. Colombo’s body was transported to the 17,200-foot high camp, from where it will be recovered.

This accident marks the second fatality near Denali Pass within the past week. On Thursday May 12 a Swiss climber was found dead at 18,000-feet; the cause of his death is currently unknown but did not appear to be trauma-related.

Did You Know?

a white, two-peaked mountain

Mount McKinley, located within Denali National Park and Preserve, is the highest mountain on the North American continent. Measured from the 2,000 foot lowlands to its snowy summit at 20,320 feet, the mountain’s vertical relief of 18,000 feet is greater than that of Mount Everest.