Roped Climbers Plunge From Alaska Mountain, Killing One

Another team built a snow cave to protect the survivor
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2024 4:50 PM CDT
Roped Climbers Fall 1K Feet in Alaska, Killing One of Them
Ruth Gorge in Denali National Park, Alaska   (Getty/Luke Dow)

Two climbers roped to each other fell about 1,000 feet from a mountain in Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, killing one of them and seriously injuring the other. The team was climbing 8,400-foot Mt. Johnson on Thursday night, ABC News reports. The National Park Service said the climbers were taking a 5,000-foot route on the southeast face of the peak known as the Escalator, which requires navigating steep rock, ice, and snow. Other climbers saw the plunge and reported it. The park service said it's investigating.

Officials identified the climber who was killed as Robbi Mecus, 52, of Keene Valley, New York, and the survivor as a 30-year-old woman from California, per KTUU. Her injuries were described as traumatic. The park service said the other climbers built a snow cave to shield the survivor until a rescue helicopter and mountaineering rangers reached the spot around 7am Friday, per NBC News. Because weather conditions were worsening, crews were not able to remove Mecus' remains until Saturday morning. (More Denali National Park stories.)

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