Tragedy has struck at Mount McKinley again. An Alaskan climber died Friday morning after scaling the summit of North America's highest peak.
Brian Young, 52, a commercial fisherman from Kodiak had just reached back 17,200-foot high camp after successfully completing a trek to the peak's 20,320-foot summit when he suddenly stopped breathing.
Young had returned to the mountains high camp to sleep in his tent after the final assault on the summit when he apparently suffered a heart attack.
Seeing Young’s condition, his team members informed the National Park Service mountaineering patrol at high camp who immediately initiated cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
However, Young did not regain consciousness and was declared dead by the volunteer physician assistant at the camp.
Young's mountaineer companions said he "came into the tent to go to sleep after an arduous 20-hour summit day and suddenly stopped breathing. The tent-mates immediately notified the NPS mountaineering patrol stationed at high camp who initiated cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Young did not regain a pulse and was pronounced deceased at 11:00 a.m. by an NPS volunteer physician assistant at high camp."
Spokeswoman of the Park, Maureen McLaughlin, stated that Young's body will be recovered from high camp when weather clears up.
Brian Young, 52, a commercial fisherman from Kodiak had just reached back the17,200-foot high camp after successfully completing a trek to the peak's 20,320-foot summit when he suddenly stopped breathing.
Other fatalities this season
Very few people climb the neighboring peaks in Denali National Park but over a thousand mountaineers climb Mount McKinley each year.
According to Denali National Park officials, eight casualties have occurred in the current climbing season on the Alaska Range and five climbers have died on the McKinley this year.
Deaths of Alaskans on McKinley are infrequent and most of the fatalities are of foreign climbers.
Besides Young, the others who met their tragic end on the slopes of McKinley were Suzanne Allen, a mountaineering guide from Seattle and Peter Bullard of Shanghai, China. They both died after their four-person rope team fell on May 25.
An Italian climber Luciano Colombo, 67, died on May 16 when he slipped near Denali Pass and fell 1,000 feet and Swiss climber Beat Niedere, 38, died on May 12 at 18,000 feet.
All the deaths with an exception of Brain Young were due to falls or injuries linked with falls.
The worst year for mountaineers in the Denali National Park was 1992, when 13 people were killed including 11 on McKinley.