Climber Who Died in Fall on Denali Identified As Japanese Man
Climber Who Died in Fall on Denali Identified As Japanese Man

The climber who died in a fall from the highest mountain peak in North America has been identified by National Park Service officials as T. Hagiwara, a man in his mid-40’s from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. 

Hagiwara’s body was recovered on Monday by Denali National Park and Preserve mountaineering rangers. Our thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends. Read the full NPS press release below:

National Parks Service Press Release:

Denali National Park and Preserve mountaineering rangers recovered the body of a deceased solo climber at 17,000 feet on Denali’s West Buttress route the evening of Monday, May 20. T. Hagiwara, a man in his mid-40’s from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, is assumed to have fallen from the steep traverse between the mountain’s 17,200-foot High Camp and the 18,200-foot Denali Pass.

Concerned family members had contacted park rangers on May 19 indicating they had not heard from Hagiwara for several days. Upon investigation, rangers were able to identify the fallen climber’s location at 17,000 feet using data from his satellite communication device. The data indicated the fatal fall occurred Thursday, May 16.

An NPS mountaineering patrol at the 17,200-foot-high camp were able to reach the climber’s location at mid-day on Monday, confirm the fatality, and then secure the climber in place. Later that afternoon, weather conditions rapidly cleared, and the park’s high altitude helicopter launched Talkeetna for the recovery mission.

While enroute to the Alaska Range, NPS rangers were notified of an injured climber at approximately 18,600 feet on the West Buttress. A 3-member rope team had fallen just below the feature known as Zebra Rocks, with one team member suffering a lower leg injury. Following an initial reconnaissance flight to the upper mountain, the injured patient was short-hauled in a rescue basket to the 7,200-foot basecamp. The NPS-contracted helicopter pilot then returned to the upper mountain and recovered Hagiwara’s remains using a long line short-haul technique.

Once back in Talkeetna on Monday night, the injured climber was transferred to a ground ambulance. Mr. Hagiwara’s remains were transferred to the State Medical Examiner.

Unofficial Networks Newsletter

Get the latest snow and mountain lifestyle news and entertainment delivered to your inbox.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.