Hiker Perishes on McKinley

Washington climber was not roped to partner


by Mike Ford

The National Park Service says a Tacoma, Washington climber has died on Mount McKinley.

Park Rangers say a helicopter crew Wednesday night spotted the remains of 39-year-old Sylvia Montag, who had been climbing with 34-year-old Mike Fuchs of Berlin, Germany.

The two were some of the earliest trying to scale North America's tallest peak , this climbing season.

The park service says the pair began their ascent April 15 and on Saturday reached Denali Pass at 18,200 feet.

Strong winds forced them to camp for two nights.

Fuchs called rangers Monday and said they had separated as they tried to descend to 17,200 feet.

Fuchs requested a rescue Tuesday, but strong winds prevented high-elevation flights until Wednesday night.

Montag's body was spotted 800 to 1,000 feet below the traverse to Denali Pass.