NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Mountain expedition guide dies in fall into crevasse on Mt. McKinley - Alaska.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 92AK017, 1992 May; :1-5
On May 21, 1992, a 41-year-old mountain expedition guide disappeared into a crevasse on Mt. McKinley, and is presumed dead. The lip of the large crevasse collapsed while he was inspecting the edge to determine a safe bypass route for a party of 2 other climbers. The surviving expedition members attempted to locate the victim, but were unsuccessful. The National Park Service decided that an attempt to recover the victim's body was too hazardous. Because the victim's body was not recovered, the exact cause of death could not be determined. However, it is presumed that the victim was either crushed under tons of compressed ice, or fell an estimated 85 feet to the bottom of the crevasse. The victim was guiding an expedition down from a summit attempt of Mt. McKinley. The fatality occurred at approximately 2:00 P.M. on the South Buttress of the mountain. Another member of the expedition suffered frostbite injuries while near Mt. McKinley's summit, and was hospitalized. He was released and returned to his home in another state. The "AKFACE" investigator concluded that, in order to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure that standard safety practices used in mountaineering are strictly followed 2. ensure that other expedition members are aware of mountain escape routes in the event that the expedition leader is incapacitated 3. ensure that expeditions have a back-up radio communications system in the event that the expedition leader and/or their critical equipment is lost.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-10; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Training; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-92AK017; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-007089
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division