Climbers Who Fell From Mountain At Denali Were Both Women, Park Says

Good Samaritans On The Mountain Tried To Keep Survivor Warm  Mt. Johnson In Denali Park, Site Of Fatal Accident. (Wikipedia)  Denali Park, A...

Good Samaritans On The Mountain Tried To Keep Survivor Warm 

Mt. Johnson In Denali Park, Site Of Fatal Accident. (Wikipedia) 

Denali Park, AK  The body of a deceased climber was recovered from Mt. Johnson in Denali National Park and Preserve on Saturday morning, April 27.  A team of two fell an estimated 1,000 feet while climbing the 8,400-foot peak the night of Thursday, April 25.  Robbi Mecus, age 52 of Keene Valley, NY, died of injuries sustained in the fall. The surviving partner, a 30-year-old woman from California, sustained serious injuries and was rescued by NPS mountaineering rangers on Friday morning and flown by air ambulance to an Anchorage hospital.

The two women were roped while climbing a steep route of mixed rock, ice, and snow on Mt. Johnson known as “the Escalator” when the accident occurred.   Another climbing party on the peak witnessed the fall and notified park rangers.  They then descended to the fallen climbers and confirmed that Mecus had died in the accident.  The team tended to the injuries of the surviving climbing partner while trying to keep her warm throughout the night. 


The morning of Friday, April 26, Denali’s high altitude helicopter pilot and two mountaineering rangers rescued the injured climbing partner using a short-haul rescue technique.  She was evacuated to Talkeetna, then flown to an Anchorage hospital for advanced medical care.


Deteriorating weather conditions prevented the pilot and rangers from returning to the accident site on Friday.  On Saturday morning at 8:00 am, weather permitted the park’s helicopter pilot and mountaineering rangers to return to Mt. Johnson to recover the body of the climber who perished in the fall. 


Denali National Park Superintendent Brooke Merrell said “We are grateful for the rescue efforts of Denali mountaineering rangers and the two good Samaritans on Mt. Johnson who helped save a fellow climber’s life.  We extend our thoughts and condolences to the friends and family of Robbi Mecus”. 


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