Avalanche Kills Two Utahns in Denali
It's been a deadly week in Denali National Park.
As I relayed on Friday, two Washington state climbers died as the result of a 1,900-foot fall on Mount McKinley. Earlier in the week two Utahns were killed in an avalanche on Mount Barrille, the park announced late last night.
The two, 33-year-old Andre Callari of Salt Lake City and 32-year-old Brian Postlethwait of Park City, were swept down the mountain either late Tuesday night or early the next day, according to park officials. Mr. Callari and Mr. Postlethwait were attempting to scale the so-called "Japanese Couloir" on the mountain when the avalanche occurred, the park said.
"The pair was observed starting the climb Tuesday evening, leaving their skis at the base of the route. Thursday afternoon, another climbing party notified an NPS ranger patrol that the team was overdue and skis were still sitting at the base of Mt. Barrille," said park officials "Whiteout conditions on Thursday evening and most of Friday precluded a surveillance flight or a ground-based investigation.
"When skies cleared late Friday evening, the NPS-contracted Lama helicopter flew to the peak and rangers spotted two figures in avalanche debris at the base of Mt. Barrille. The following day, in better lighting conditions, the same crew returned to the debris area. The climbers’ remains were recovered and flown back to Talkeetna," they added.
As for the two climbers killed in the 1,900-foot fall, Mizuki Takahashi and Brian Massey, their bodies were recovered from the 17,200-foot High Camp when winds subsided Saturday morning.
For more details on both accidents, check out this story in the Anchorage Daily News.