A Japanese climber is presumed dead after falling into a crevasse in Alaska’s Denali National Park

The 43-year-old from Kanagawa, Japan – who has not been named by officials – was detached from his teammates and “fell through a low ice bridge near their camp at approximately 8,000 feet on southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier,” according to a statement released Wednesday by the Denali National Park and Preserve. It was at the foot of the northern buttress of Mount Hunter.

A member of the climber’s team called for help on Tuesday evening, the statement said, and one of the park rangers who responded abseiled into the crevasse “as deep as possible.”

The ranger was able to confirm that an “ice bridge collapse had filled the narrow crevasse with a large volume of snow and ice approximately 80 feet below the surface of the glacier,” the statement said.

It was not possible to descend any further to investigate or find the man, and the climber was presumed dead based on the volume of ice, the distance of the fall and the length of the burial, according to the press release.

Officials will determine the feasibility of recovering the body in the coming days.

The body of another climber has been found

Elsewhere in the reserve, the body of a 35-year-old solo climber who went missing and was found by officials earlier this month has been found, park officials said.

The remains of Austrian mountaineer Matthias Rimml were recovered Tuesday via a long-range helicopter operation, according to the park statement.

Rimml, a professional mountain guide, was the first recorded climber this season to attempt the ascent of Denali – a 20,310-foot peak and the highest in North America – and was alone in his attempt.

He began his ascent from base camp on April 27 and the last known phone call he made was on April 30, officials said.

“Rimml likely fell on the steep traverse between Denali Pass at 18,200ft and the plateau at 17,200ft, a notoriously treacherous stretch of the West Buttress route,” the statement read.


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