Rangers locate climber’s body on Alaska’s Denali

May 5, 2022, 11:54 PM | Updated: May 7, 2022, 4:46 am
FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2017, photo, North America's tallest peak, Denali, is seen from a turnout in...

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2017, photo, North America's tallest peak, Denali, is seen from a turnout in Denali State Park, Alaska. National park rangers in Alaska on Friday, May 6, 2022, resumed an aerial search for the year's first registered climber on North America's tallest peak after he didn't check in with a friend. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)

(AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — National park rangers in Alaska on Friday located the body of the year’s first registered climber on North America’s tallest peak.

Because it’s so early in the climbing season, Matthias Rimml, a 35-year-old professional mountain guide from Tirol, Austria, was alone on the upper part of Denali, a 20,310-foot (6,190-meter) mountain about 240 miles (386 kilometers) north of Anchorage. The climbing season usually runs from May through mid-July.

Other climbers and rangers are camped below the 14,000-foot (4,267-meter) level.

Rimml hadn’t been considered overdue compared to his planned return date and food and fuel supply, according to Denali National Park and Preserve officials. However, a friend who had been receiving periodic check-ins from Rimml contacted mountaineering rangers Tuesday after not receiving a call for days, officials said in a statement.

Park officials said Rimml was already acclimated to the altitude because of recent climbs. He had planned to climb Denali “alpine style,” or traveling fast with light gear. His goal was to make the summit in five days even though he carried enough fuel and food to last 10 days.

The average Denali expedition is 17 to 21 days for a round trip, with climbers making the summit on day 12 or 13, according to the National Park Service.

Rimml began his climb April 27 from the Kahiltna Glacier base camp at 7,200 feet (2,194 meters), officials said.

His last known call to his friend was on April 30, when he reported he was tired but not in distress. Rimml reported his location as just below Denali Pass, at 18,200 feet (5,547 meters) elevation on the West Buttress, the most popular route for Denali climbers.

On Wednesday, a pilot and mountaineering ranger in a National Park Service helicopter looked for Rimml. Intermittent clouds didn’t allow a thorough search, but they did not see any signs of him.

They saw his tent at 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) but didn’t observe any recent activity, the statement said. High winds and poor weather prevented the helicopter from landing at the campsite, but the helicopter returned Thursday when weather was better. Rangers confirmed Rimml hadn’t returned to the tent.

Clouds prevented the helicopter from flying above 17,200 feet (5,243 meters) on Thursday, but park spokesperson Maureen Gualtieri told The Associated Press a helicopter with two rangers aboard took off Friday morning from Talkeetna, the nearest community, to resume the search.

Rimml’s body was spotted in the fall zone below Denali Pass during the aerial search, park officials said Friday evening in a statement.

Rimml likely fell on the steep traverse between Denali Pass at 18,200 feet (5,547 meters) and the 17,200-foot (5,243-meter) plateau, a notoriously treacherous stretch of the West Buttress route, officials said. Thirteen climbers, including Rimml, have died in falls along that traverse, the majority occurring on the descent, the statement said.

Recovery efforts will not be attempted until an national park ranger patrol is acclimated to the high altitude.

Weather conditions on the mountain have been cold, which park officials say is normal this time of the year. Daytime highs have been around minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-3.89 degrees celsius) with winds at the two base camps registering up to 30 mph (48 kph). Five inches (13 centimeters) of new snow have fallen in the past week on the upper mountain.

On the website for his guide business, Rimml said he always has been close to mountains and nature.

He trained as a carpenter after receiving his high school diploma. In 2015, after he completed military service, Rimml switched to being a freelance ski instructor in Austria and outside Europe.

He became a professional mountain guide in 2015, the fourth generation of his family to do so, his biography states. His specialty was long, technically difficult combined tours.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Arby's - LEHI, UT - OCTOBER 26: Exterior view of an Arby's restaurant on October 26, 2017 in Lehi, ...
Associated Press

Ex-Arby’s manager in Vancouver, Wash. sentenced after urinating in milkshake mix

A former manager at an Arby’s restaurant admitted to possessing child pornography and urinated into a milkshake mix
12 hours ago
FILE- Chairman Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., questions Michael Carvajal, the outgoing director of the Federal ...
Associated Press

Senators push new oversight to combat federal prison crises

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation Wednesday to overhaul oversight and bring greater transparency to the crisis-plagued federal Bureau of Prisons following reporting from The Associated Press that exposed systemic corruption in the federal prison system and increased congressional scrutiny. The bill, called the Federal Prison Oversight Act, would require […]
1 day ago
FILE - Randy Halprin, who was part of the so-called "Texas 7" gang who escaped from prison in 2000 ...
Associated Press

DA: Death row inmate should get new trial over judge’s bias

HOUSTON (AP) — A Jewish death row inmate who was part of a gang of prisoners who fatally shot a police officer in 2000 after they had escaped is one step closer to getting a new trial after prosecutors agreed with defense claims that the judge who presided over his case held antisemitic views. Lawyers […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Regions Bank to refund $141M for illegal overdraft fees

NEW YORK (AP) — Regions Bank for a second time in a decade was found charging illegal overdraft fees, the government said Wednesday, in a settlement that will require the bank to repay $141 million to customers and pay an additional $50 million in fees. In an investigation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Official: Ukraine will fight for land Russia likely to annex

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine is determined to reclaim territory that Russia is likely to annex following stage-managed voting in occupied areas and takes seriously Moscow’s threats to use nuclear weapons in the war with its neighbor, an adviser to Ukraine’s president said Wednesday. In an interview with The Associated Press in Kyiv, presidential adviser […]
1 day ago
A Kennywood Park security guard stands at the main entrance to the amusement park in West Mifflin, ...
Associated Press

Amusement park announces new security changes after shooting

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania amusement park announced new security measures Wednesday following a shooting that wounded three people, including two teenagers. Kennywood Park officials said the measures would include more police, more security along perimeter fences, limits on bag sizes and masks covering faces, and require adult chaperones for all juveniles […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Rangers locate climber’s body on Alaska’s Denali