Malaysian climber who died near top of Alaska's Denali, North America's tallest peak, is identified | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Malaysian climber who died near top of Alaska's Denali, North America's tallest peak, is identified

FILE - Sightseeing buses and tourists are seen at a pullout popular for taking in views of North America's tallest peak, Denali, in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, Aug. 26, 2016. A Malaysian climber who died near the top of North America's tallest mountain while sheltering in a snow cave was identified by park officials Saturday, June 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
Original Publication Date June 01, 2024 - 12:51 PM

DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, Alaska (AP) — A Malaysian climber likely died of exposure and altitude-related illness earlier this week after sheltering for days in a snow cave with minimal survival gear near the top of Denali, North America's tallest mountain in Alaska, park officials said Saturday.

Zulkifli Bin Yusof, 36, likely died Wednesday in a 19,600 foot (5,974 meter) elevation cave in Denali National Park and Preserve, park spokesman Paul Ollig said Saturday. The National Park Service recovered his body Friday night, Ollig said.

Yusof was part of a three-man climbing team, all of whom listed their address as the Alpine Club of Malaysia in Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, according to Ollig. Yusof's two partners survived.

Park rangers first received an SOS message from the team at 1 a.m. Tuesday, indicating the climbers were hypothermic and unable to descend after reaching the Alaskan mountain's 20,310-foot (6,190-meter) summit.

One of the men, a 48-year-old, was rescued Tuesday night after descending to a 17,200-foot (5,243-meter) camp. He was described by the park as having severe frostbite and hypothermia.

Late Thursday, the park’s high-altitude helicopter pilot was able to drop a bag with survival gear near the snow cave and saw a climber waving at him, but strong winds prevented a rescue at that time, the park said.

The other climber, a 47-year-old, was rescued Friday morning after days of cloudy, windy conditions.

Two of the three men had previous experience on Denali, Ollig said. All three had previously climbed other high-elevation mountains, he said.

The climber rescued Friday was medevaced to an Anchorage hospital for additional care and “was in surprisingly strong condition, walking on his own even, considering what he endured,” Ollig previously said. The climber's name and additional information about him and the other survivor would not be released by the park.

The other climber is also recovering at a hospital.

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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