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Mount McKinley Climber Dies After Falling In Alaska

05/19/12 09:10 PM ET  AP

DENALI NATIONAL PARK and PRESERVE, Alaska -- National Park officials say a climber has died of injuries after falling during a climb of Alaska's Mount McKinley.

A park release Saturday says the climber fell about 1,100-feet Friday, while following the West Buttress route to the summit. Witnesses say the climber fell at about 16,200-feet. He was trying to recover a backpack that had started to slide downhill.

A park service mountaineering patrol was behind the climber's three-person team and called for a helicopter. The victim's body was flown to Talkeetna, Alaska, after rangers confirmed that the climber had died of injuries.

The victim's identity has not been released pending notification of family members overseas.

Mount McKinley is North America's highest mountain.

Friday's fatal fall is the first serious incident on McKinley during the 2012 mountaineering season.

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Filed by Joanna Zelman  |