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Contact: Maureen McLaughlin, (907) 733-9103
Two remaining injured climbers were evacuated from the 17,200-foot high camp on Mt. McKinley in the afternoon of Friday, May 13. Both climbers, one a guide and the other a client, suffered from frostbite to the hands and feet after a night spent at high elevation in cold temperatures and gusty winds. The guide also reportedly sustained a broken rib.
On Friday afternoon it was determined that the two men could not safely descend the mountain on foot, so a helicopter evacuation was initiated. Both men were individually shorthauled from the 17,200-foot camp to the 14,200-foot camp by NPS ranger John Loomis and B3 helicopter pilot Andy Hermansky. From there, the helicopter flew them down to the Kahiltna Basecamp for a fixed wing flight back to Talkeetna.
On the previous night, a fellow teammate with a broken leg and severe frostbite to the legs, hands, and face was rescued from 19,500-feet on Mt. McKinley on Thursday night. The fourth member of their rope team died from unknown causes near 18,000 feet, and his body was recovered late Thursday night via helicopter shorthaul.
Names of the involved parties will be released as soon as next of kin are informed of the events.