Mountaineer Dies on Ski Descent of Denali’s Messner Couloir

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Date: May 29, 2016
Contact: Maureen Gualtieri, (907) 733-9103

TALKEETNA, AK: A mountaineer from the Czech Republic died in a fall Saturday evening, May 29 while skiing the Messner Couloir on Denali. NPS rangers estimate that 45-year-old Pavel Michut, from the village of Hutisko Solanec, fell roughly 1,500 feet from an elevation of 17,000 feet on the route.

The event was witnessed by multiple parties at the 14,200-foot camp on Denali. A nearby climbing team was on scene within 10 minutes and determined that the skier had died of multiple traumatic injuries suffered in the fall. NPS mountaineering rangers arrived on scene shortly thereafter and recovered the climber’s remains.

The 5,000-foot-long Messner Couloir is a steep, 35 to 55 degree gully that connects the 14,000-foot basin and the upper mountain at 19,000 feet. At the time of the fall, conditions on the upper mountain were wind-scoured and hard-packed following repeated days of extreme winds. 

Michut’s remains will be flown from the 14,200-foot camp once weather conditions allow and will be transferred to the State of Alaska Medical Examiner.

Last updated: May 29, 2016

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