Fatality at McKinley Headwall


Officials are investigating a fatality on the Headwall of McKinley’s West Buttress.

The headwall is a challenging section of ice and hard-packed snow that drops from 16,200 to 15,200 feet. Ropes are permanently planted along that section to help climbers
One person died there from storm-related exposure in 1994, McLaughlin said. There may have been more, but her records show only one fatality on the fixed ropes. Earlier this year, two women climbing the park’s second-tallest mountain, Mount Foraker, disappeared and are presumed dead.

Climbing season is coming to an end, McLaughlin said. She said 142 climbers are currently registered to be on the mountain, but once they all descend, she doesn’t expect more. The Park Service pulls its camps off the mountain in early July.

The name has not been released.
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