1,000-Foot-Fall Kills Italian Climber on Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park

A 67-year-old Italian climber became the second fatality in a week on Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park when he fell 1,000 feet Monday while making an unroped traverse of Denali Pass.

A park release said mountaineers at McKinley's 17,200-foot "high camp" watched as Luciano Colombo, of Mandello, Italy, fell from near the 18,000-foot elevation on the mountain.

Denali mountaineering ranger Matt Hendrickson and three patrol members responded to the fallen climber and confirmed that Mr. Colombo had died of traumatic injuries. At the time he fell, the climber was beginning the traverse from Denali Pass to the 17,200-foot camp along a 45-degree slope of hard, windblown snowpack, the park release said. He was traveling ahead of his two teammates at the time of the fall, it added.

The Park Service reported that weather at the time of the accident was clear with relatively calm winds. Mr. Colombo’s body was transported to the 17,200-foot high camp, from where it will be recovered.

Last Thursday a Swiss climber was found dead at 18,000-feet; the cause of his death is currently unknown but did not appear to be trauma-related.

Comments

Played with some high elevations a while back (not quite that high). Now, at 66, I remember why I like my toes in the sand, looking at the surf with a fishing pole in my hand. Probably doesn't make sense to some , but makes perfect sense to me.
To be truthful, I do understand what motivates these adventurers and my sympathy goes out to the climber and his family and friends. But, the risk was probably what drove him to do what he was doing. Hope he would say it was worth it.

Ron (obxguys)