Solo McKinley Climber Found Dead in Snow

Climbers found Argentine man at 17.2K feet
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2015 11:58 PM CDT
Updated May 15, 2015 12:10 AM CDT
Solo McKinley Climber Found Dead in Snow
This undated file photo shows Mount McKinley as seen from Talkeetna, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)

A pair of climbers who made it to the 17,200-foot camp on Mount McKinley, aka Denali, discovered the body of a solo climber lying in snow in the middle of the plateau. Heraldo Javier Callupan, a 39-year-old man from Argentina, had no visible signs of trauma and "appears to have died of unknown medical issues," the National Park Service says. Callupan, a veteran climber and a guide for a Brazilian travel agency, began his ascent of the 20,237-foot peak on May 1 and was found dead on May 10, according to the NPS, which did not announce the death until his identity was confirmed.

An NPS spokeswoman tells CNN that Callupan's gear was found next to his body, but he apparently died before he started setting up his tent. He is the first fatality this year on the mountain, and the NPS says his remains will stay at the camp until park rangers are "safely acclimatized" and weather conditions allow them to get there by helicopter, NBC reports. The Alaska State Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy when the body is retrieved, which CNN reports will probably be this weekend. (This year, a 53-year-old climber from Minnesota became the first to conquer McKinley solo in January.)

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