Search For Missing Denali Climbers Turns Into Recovery Mission
The start of the summer of '06 will not be remembered for being overly kind to national park visitors. The early toll shows the deaths of a climber in Yosemite, another in Sequoia/Kings Canyon, and the drownings of three visitors to Grand Teton.
Now officials at Denali National Park and Preserve say they are scaling back a search for two missing climbers and are moving away from rescue mode and into recovery mode. Thirty-six-year-old Karen McNeill of Vail, Colorado, and 37-year-old Sue Nott of Canmore, Alberta, were on Mount Foraker when they were reported missing. They were last seen May 14th at the base of the demanding Infinite Spur route. Tracks thought to belong to the two women were seen 1,000 feet below the mountain's 17,400-foot summit.
Calculations by park officials on the women's fuel suggest that they have been without water for ten days.
Park officials say 26 climbers have tried to summit Mount Foraker this climbing season and that none has succeeded.