by Sue Deyoe ~ May 27th, 2011
The names of the climbers in the fatal fall on Denali late Wednesday night have been released.
The four person team that fell from Denali Pass were led by Alpine Ascents International. Their lead guide, 34 year old Suzanne Allen and client Peter Bullard, age 45, of China (an English national), died in the fall.
No one witnessed the fall, but members of a National Park Service ranger patrol at the seventeen-thousand-two hundred foot High Camp spotted the four person roped team below the trail from Denali Pass a little after 11 pm. They heard a shout for help and quickly organized a rescue team.
They confirmed the deaths of two climbers. The two injured climbers, James Mohr of California and Gary Burke of Texas were placed in rescue litters and lowered to the high camp for emergency medical treatment. Medics worked through the night to help Mohr stay alive.
Shortly after 4 AM on Thursday, the rescue helicopter was able to fly in and evacuate both patients to the Kahiltna basecamp where two LifeMed air ambulances were waiting. Both were flown to area hospitals. Burke has a broken leg and suffered a head injury but is in stable condition. According to Alpine Ascents, there is improvement in Mohr’s condition.
Alpine Ascents employees are meeting with family members and assisting with hospital and other needs. Other guides say Suzanne Allen was a highly respected guide and loved doing what she did. She was a guide on Aconcagua and Everest basecamp as well as Denali.
These are the second and third deaths at Denali Pass this season.