Malaysian climber who died near summit of Alaska’s Denali, North America’s highest peak, identified

Park officials say a Malaysian climber likely died of cold and altitude-related illness while sheltering in a snow cave atop Denali, North America’s highest mountain in Alaska.

DENALI PARK, Alaska — A Malaysian climber likely died of exposure and altitude-related illnesses earlier this week after sheltering for days in a snow cave with minimal survival equipment near the summit of Denali , North America’s tallest mountain in Alaska, park officials said Saturday. .

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

Yusof was part of a three-man climbing team, whose address was the Malaysian Alpine Club in Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, according to Ollig. Both of Yusof’s partners survived.

Park rangers first received an SOS message from the team at 1 a.m. Tuesday, saying the climbers were hypothermic and unable to descend after reaching the summit of the Alaskan mountain, peaking at 20,310 feet (6,190 meters).

One of the men, aged 48, was rescued Tuesday evening after descending to a camp at 17,200 feet (5,243 meters). He was described by the park as suffering from severe frostbite and hypothermia.

On Thursday evening, the pilot of the park’s high-altitude helicopter was able to drop a bag of survival gear near the snow cave and saw a climber waving at him, but high winds prevented rescue at the time. -there, indicated the park.

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

Two of the three men had prior experience in Denali, Ollig said. All three had previously climbed other high-altitude mountains, he said.

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

The other climber is also recovering in hospital.

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