NewsClimber dead, another injured in 1,000-foot fall on Alaska's Mount Johnson

Climber dead, another injured in 1,000-foot fall on Alaska’s Mount Johnson

An image from the National Park Service shows the intended climbing route up Mount Johnson in Alaska with an X indicating where a pair of climbers fell this week, killing one and badly injuring the other. Photo by J. Kayes/National Park Service

April 27 (UPI) — A mountain climber died and another was badly injured this week after falling 1,000 feet while trying to ascend Mount Johnson in Alaska’s Denali National Park, park officials say.

The pair were climbing the 8,400-foot mountain when they fell Thursday night, the National Park Service said in a statement.

The pair were connected by a rope while ascending the 5,000-foot “escalator” route on Mount Johnson when the deadly accident occurred.

One climber died while the other suffered traumatic injuries.

A pair of climbers in a separate party witnessed the fall and contacted the Alaska Regional Communication Center at about 10:45 p.m. The two then descended to help and found one climber dead and the other badly injured.

The two healthy climbers dug a snow cave and tended to the injured climber during the night, CNN reported.

A high-altitude rescue helicopter carrying two mountain rangers and a pilot responded to the scene Friday morning. One of the rangers descended from the helicopter, hauled the injured climber to a nearby flat glacier and loaded the survivor onto the helicopter.

The pilot ferried the injured climber to the airport in Talkeetna, Alaska, where a LifeMed air ambulance flew the person to a location for emergency treatment.

The rescue helicopter and pilot then returned to Mount Johnson to recover the dead climber’s body, but weather conditions force them to temporarily abandon the effort.

The identities of the two climbers were withheld pending notification of their family members.

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