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Another Climbing Fatality Reported on Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve


For the second time in less than a week a climber has collapsed and died on Mount McKinley. Photo by Giant Ginkgo via flickr.

Just three days after an Illinois man died atop North America's highest mountain a second climber has collapsed and died on Mount McKinley.

Denali National Park and Preserve officials say 20-year-old Pungkas Tri Baruno, of Jakarta, Indonesia, collapsed while descending to a camp at the 17,200-foot elevation. The man was coming down the West Buttress route Monday night when he collapsed and died about a quarter-mile from the camp.

The man's guides initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation and immediately called for assistance from another guided team at high camp via family band radio. CPR was performed for more than one hour.

Mr. Baruno was a client on a Mountain Trip expedition that began their West Buttress ascent on June 22. The team’s three clients were all members of a scouting group from Indonesia. Mr. Baruno, one of his teammates, and their two guides had reached the summit late in the afternoon of July 7.

The cause of death is unknown at this time.

The remains of the deceased climber are currently in a protected and generally flat area outside of the 17,200-foot high camp. The National Park Service currently plans to recover the remains with the high altitude Lama helicopter when weather permits.

This marks the fourth death on McKinley this climbing season. In addition to the death July 4 of James Nasti, who collapsed on the summit, two Japanese climbers in May failed to return from their trek on the mountain.

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