The Latest: Denali ranger describes crevasse rescue

The Latest: Denali ranger describes crevasse rescue

Published Jun. 6, 2017 8:38 p.m. ET

TALKEETNA, Alaska (AP) The Latest on the rescue of two climbers in separate incidents on Denali (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

Denali National Park mountaineering ranger Frank Preston says it took rescuers about 12 hours before they could reach a climber who fell 40-feet (12.2 meters) into a glacier crevasse on North America's tallest mountain.

Preston says it took another three hours to chip away at ice to widen the crevasse to lift out 38-year-old Martin Takac of Trmava, Slovakia.


Takac fell into the crevasse late Sunday night as he was descending 20,310-foot (6,190-meter) Denali with another climber.

The force of the fall pushed Takac past constricted spaces where he could not simply be lifted out.

Rescuers lowered by rope could not even turn their heads as they chipped at ice to reach Takac. He was pulled out in critical condition.

Preston says the rescue was ''not for the claustrophobic.''


11 p.m.

Rangers rescued two climbers in unrelated incidents from Kahiltna Glacier in Denali National Park on Monday.

The National Park Service released a statement saying that mountaineering rangers and guides rescued a critically injured solo climber at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill.

Twenty-three-year-old Michael Metzler, of Carnation, Washington, was suffering from an abdominal illness. The team provided pain medication and then assisted Metzler to the Kahiltna Basecamp where he was evacuated.

At the same time, NPS rangers were notified via radio that an un-roped climber had fallen 40 feet into a crevasse.

The fallen climber, 38-year-old Martin Takac, of Slovakia, was alive. It took several hours to free Takac at 7,800 feet on the West Buttress route.

The severely hypothermic and critically injured climber was flown to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.


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