Solo Climber from Japan Found Dead at 17,000 Feet After Falling on Alaska's Mt. Denali

The search for the man began after a "concerned family member" hadn't heard from him in "several days," officials said

<p>Getty</p> Denali mountain


Denali mountain

A solo climber was found dead this week after he tried to summit Denali in Alaska, the highest mountain peak in North America.

The man was identified as Japanese climber T. Hagiwara, according to the New York Post, Alaska Public Media and Fox Weather.

The National Park and Preserve (NPS) said in a news release that the man was found dead on Monday, May 20, "at an elevation of 17,000 feet on the West Buttress route on Denali."

"On Sunday, rangers were contacted by a concerned family member that had not heard from a climber for several days," the NPS said in their release. "The climber had been regularly checking in with family via an InReach communication device during their attempted solo climb of Denali."

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"Mountaineering rangers patrolling the upper mountain quickly located the climber’s empty tent at the top of the 16,200-foot ridge," officials said.

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Rangers also determined the last known sighting of the climber through interviews. "Another climbing team had witnessed them traversing from the 17,200 feet plateau to Denali Pass at 18,200 feet on Wednesday, May 15," per the NPS.

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"Rangers at the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station were able to collect satellite location data from the climber’s InReach account and identified their probable location at 17,000 feet on Denali," officials added. "The InReach data indicated the device had not changed location since Thursday, May 16, suggesting a fall from the Denali Pass traverse took place on that day."

As the weather on the upper mountain cleared, a mountaineering patrol with the NPS located Hagiwara's body "by searching the probable fall location using a spotting scope."

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According to the NPS, his body was secured in place and returned to high camp.

Hagiwara’s death marks the 14th fatality by fall along the West Buttress route since 1980, according to the NPS.

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