Man Killed, Partner Injured After Being Hit by Falling Ice During Climb at Alaska National Park

Officials confirmed that a 32-year-old man from Idaho had died in the accident, while his 31-year-old climbing partner was knocked unconscious

Denali National Park
Denali National Park in Alaska. Photo: Getty

A man died after he was hit by falling ice while climbing with a friend at a national park in Alaska, according to officials.

A spokesperson with the Denali National Park and Preserve confirmed the fatal incident in a press release on Friday, identifying the victim only as a 32-year-old male from Rigby, Idaho.

The man's climbing partner, a 31-year-old male from Logan, Utah, was injured from the falling ice but survived the incident, the release stated.

According to officials, the incident unfolded on Thursday morning around 5 a.m. at the west face of Reality Ridge in Denali National Park and Preserve.

Denali National Park and Preserve, which is located north of Anchorage, encompasses six million acres of land and features North America's tallest peak, Denali, according to the park's website.

The two-person rope team was climbing Reality Ridge when a block of glacier ice, also known as a hanging serac, "dislodged from a peak off of the West Fork of the Ruth Glacier," the release stated.

Officials said the 31-year-old climber was "knocked unconscious by the impact," but later regained consciousness and was able to find his partner, who he sadly determined had died.

The man then alerted park officials with a satellite communication device around 6 a.m. before moving to a safer location outside of the debris zone to wait for rescue teams to arrive, according to the release.

Just after 7 a.m., a helicopter pilot and two mountaineering rangers with Denali National Park showed up at the scene, where they evacuated the injured climber to a safer location on the Ruth Glacier, officials stated.

He was given medical attention and transported to Talkeetna State Airport before being airlifted to a nearby hospital for further care, according to the release.

At this time, his condition remains unknown.

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Later in the day, officials returned to the accident site in an attempt to recover the other climber's remains.

By that point, clouds had moved into the area, which ultimately prevented authorities from reaching the deceased climber, according to the release.

It wasn't until Friday afternoon that park officials confirmed that weather conditions had allowed them to finally recover the man's remains, NBC affiliate KTUU reported.

Denali National Park park officials urge visitors to become familiar with the hazards and safety precautions before going out into the wilderness.

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