Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
wfinley

Death on Mt. Bona

Recommended Posts

In today's news frown.gif...

 

Climber dies in crevasse

MOUNT BONA: Snow bridge gave way; wedged in, man suffocated.

 

By KYLE HOPKINS

Anchorage Daily News

 

Published: May 19, 2006

Last Modified: May 19, 2006 at 03:01 AM

A California man died Wednesday after falling into a crevasse while crossing the Klutlan Glacier in the Wrangell Mountains, according to the National Park Service.

 

Will Hirst, 56, of Castro Valley, was with another climber and two guides near Mount Bona when he fell through a snow bridge. The party was roped together, with Hirst in the lead, followed by guide Eli Potter of St. Elias Alpine Guides, the Park Service reported.

 

Hirst caught himself at first, then the snowbridge gave way and he fell about 20 feet, according to the report.

 

He died from "positional asphyxia," said deputy medical examiner Stephen Erickson, meaning Hirst couldn't breathe.

"His body was wedged in a way where he couldn't inhale or exhale and quickly suffocated," Erickson said.

He said Hirst was found upright with his backpack compressing his head downward.

 

Mount Bona, about 16,500 feet, is roughly 40 miles east of McCarthy.

 

It's not unusual for mountaineers to visit the area beginning around April, said Marshall Neeck, chief ranger for the Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Reserve.

Although it was windy, he said weather conditions did not appear to play a role in the accident, which was the first climbing death in the area this year.

 

A 38-year-old Colorado climbing guide died after falling in a crevasse in the same area in 2000.

 

"We've regretfully been having about one or two fatalities a year in the park," Neeck said.

 

Wednesday, the climbers were roped together and wearing snowshoes at an elevation of 9,700 feet, according to the Park Service.

 

After Hirst fell, the guides contacted the Alaska National Guard Rescue Coordination Center by satellite phone.

The Park Service reported that the pilot who flew the group to the area, Paul Claus, returned to the glacier at 4:15 p.m., along with a doctor who happened to be staying at Claus' lodge. The doctor pronounced Hirst dead after an attempt to revive him.

 

A man who answered the phone at St. Elias Alpine Guides said he couldn't comment on the accident

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a pretty notorius area. We experienced a crevasse fall there in 2002 and a guided party a couple days behind us had their lead guide fall in and get a little beat up.

My condolences to the family and friends.

 

8094.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×