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Contact: Maureen Gualtieri, 907-733-9103
DENALI NATIONAL PARK, AK: The body of an Argentinian solo climber was discovered at the 17,200-foot high camp of Mount McKinley just before midnight on Sunday, May 10. Heraldo Javier Callupan, age 39 of General Roca, Argentina, appears to have died of unknown medical issues.
Callupan began his ascent of the West Buttress route on May 1, and according to other climbing parties at the 14,200-foot camp, he headed up to the 17,200-foot high camp on May 6. No other parties were camped at 17,200-feet between May 6 and May 10, the date when the climber's remains were found by a two-person team upon their arrival at high camp. Callupan was found lying in the snow in the middle of the camp plateau with no visible signs of trauma.
That night, the reporting team used FRS radio to report the event to Pararescuemen from the Alaska Air National Guard 212th Rescue Squadron who were camped 14,200-feet. The Pararescuemen then relayed the discovery to NPS mountaineering rangers in Talkeetna via satellite phone. Due to delays in direct communication with the original reporting team, and with no NPS ranger staff positioned at the 17,200-foot high camp this early in the season, it took several days to make a positive determination of the man's identity. NPS staff worked with the Argentine Consulate to notify Callupan's next of kin on Wednesday, May 13.
Callupan's remains will be recovered from the 17,200-foot camp when NPS mountaineering rangers are safely acclimatized for the recovery effort, and when weather conditions allow. The remains will then be transferred to the State of Alaska Medical Examiner. Follow-up on when the body recovery occurs will be reported in www.nps.gov/dena/mountainblog.htm.