Talkeetna, AK – The body of a missing solo climber was located in Denali National Park and Preserve during a high elevation aerial search the morning of Friday, May 6. Matthias Rimml, a 35-year-old Austrian solo climber, had not been heard from since Saturday, April 30 when he made a routine check-in call via satellite phone to a friend from 18,000 feet on the West Buttress. Today, the third day of the search effort, aerial spotters on the park’s high altitude helicopter sighted Rimml’s body in the fall zone below Denali Pass.
Rimml likely fell on the steep traverse between Denali Pass at 18,200 feet and the 17,200-foot plateau, a notoriously treacherous stretch of the West Buttress route. Thirteen climbers, including Rimml, have died in falls along this traverse, the majority occurring on the descent.
Recovery efforts will not be attempted until an NPS ranger patrol is acclimated to high altitude and able to safely perform the recovery.