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Climber Who Fell to his Death on Denali Identified as T. Hagiwara

On Monday, May 20, Denali National Park and Preserve rangers located a deceased climber at an elevation of 17,000 feet on the West Buttress route on Denali. The climber has been identified as Japanese mountaineer T. Hagiwara, who was attempting to climb Denali solo.

Rangers had responded to a call from a concerned family member who had not heard from their loved one for several days when they located the climber's empty tent at the top of the 16,200-foot ridge. Through interviews, they determined the last known sighting of the climber-- Another group of climbers had spotted him traversing from the 17,200 feet plateau to Denali Pass at 18,200 feet on Wednesday, May 15. 

Hagiwara had been checking in with an InReach satellite communicator throughout his climb. InReach data indicated that the device had not changed location since Thursday, May 16, suggesting the fall took place that day.

Since 1980, at least fourteen climbers have died in falls along this particular section of the West Buttress route, including Hagiwara. The National Park Service says there are 352 climbers on Denali's West Buttress Route, though the majority of them are much lower on the mountain at this point in the season. Denali's climbing season typically begins in Early May and ends in early June.

Our hearts go out sincerely to all those affected by this tragedy.

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