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Source: Getty Images

Man, 32, Killed by Falling Ice in Alaska National Park, His Friend Critically Injured

Olowokandi Fiyin
May 18, 2021
05:20 P.M.
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A 32-year-old man was killed and his friend critically injured by falling ice after a devastating accident at the Alaska National Park. The buddies were at the park to hike the mountains.

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A fun rope climbing adventure between two friends has turned into a tragedy after one lost his life and the other was critically injured. According to a press release, the incident happened in the Denali National Park and Preserve.

On Thursday morning, the two friends at around 5:00 am were climbing the west face of Reality Ridge when “a block of glacier ice was dislodged from a peak of the West Fork of the Ruth Glacier.”

A photo of a the Denali National Park, Alaska. | Photo: Getty Images

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One of the men, a 31-year-old from Logan, Utah, was knocked unconscious by the impact of the ice. When he eventually became conscious, he discovered that his friend had passed away from the accident.

He immediately called the authorities with a satellite communication device. The deceased was identified as a 32-year-old Rigby, Idaho resident. The injured climber was able to escape to a debris-free zone despite his injuries.

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According to reports, the Denali National Park and Preserve has the tallest peak in North America and features about six million acres of land. It is located approximately 427 kilometers north of Anchorage.

This isn’t the first time such tragedy has occurred at the national park.

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A safety team consisting of two mountaineering rangers and a helicopter pilot arrived at the national park by 7 am. They were able to rescue the injured climber and take him to a safer location for emergency treatment.

With the help of an air ambulance, the man was flown to the hospital for further care. The safety team tried to return to the scene later that day to recover the remains of the 32-year-old. However, they were obstructed by the clouds.

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On Friday afternoon, the team returned to the park and recovered the body of the deceased climber. Per ABC News, this isn’t the first time such tragedy has occurred at the national park.

Earlier this month, 28-year-old Mason Stansfield from Ouray, Colorado, lost his life after falling into a crevasse during a ski on a glacier in the national park. His tragic demise marked the second death in Denali Park.

In April, a similar incident happened when Saulo Escalant fell to his death while hiking Mount Whitney in California. The 36-year-old Texan was found after authorities used his cell phone records to track his location after he went missing.

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