Body of climber recovered after 1,000-foot fatal fall on Alaska peak

Apr 27, 2024, 2:51 PM | Updated: 7:06 pm

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A helicopter crew recovered on Saturday the body of a climber who died after falling about 1,000 feet (300 meters) while on a steep, technical route in Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve, park officials said in a statement.

Robbi Mecus, 52, of Keene Valley, New York, died of injuries sustained in a fall Thursday while climbing a route on the southeast face of the 8,400-foot (2,560-meter) Mount Johnson, the park said. Her climbing partner, a 30-year-old woman from California, was seriously injured and was rescued Friday and flown to an Anchorage hospital, park officials said.

Another climbing party witnessed the fall and reported it around 10:45 p.m. Thursday. They descended to where the climbers had fallen and confirmed one had died. They dug a snow cave and tended to the hurt climber, according to a statement from the park.

Early Friday a rescue helicopter and two mountaineering rangers were able to rescue the injured climber, who was later medevacked for additional care. They returned to the mountain later to recover Mecus’ body but were forced back by deteriorating weather, the statement said. Improved conditions Saturday morning allowed for the retrieval of the body.


This story has been updated to correct the pronoun in the 2nd paragraph to “her,” not “his.”

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Body of climber recovered after 1,000-foot fatal fall on Alaska peak