Home » Climber who died in Alaska national park ID’d as noted N.Y. forest ranger

Climber who died in Alaska national park ID’d as noted N.Y. forest ranger

by NBC News

A climber who died after falling 1,000 feet in Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve was identified on Saturday as Robbi Mecus, a noted climbing enthusiast and forest ranger.

Mecus, 52, from Keene Valley, New York, was an outspoken advocate for expanding the presence of fellow transgender people in alpine climbing. In 2022, she co-founded Queer Ice Fest in the Adirondack Mountains of her adopted hometown, and the event earlier this year was its third annual happening.

New York Department of Environmental Conservation interim Commissioner Sean Mahar said in a statement that Mecus made a mark in her long career with the state.

“Over her 25-year career with DEC, Ranger Mecus demonstrated an unparalleled passion for protecting the environment and New Yorkers,” the commissioner said. “She exemplified the Forest Rangers’ high standard of professional excellence while successfully … advancing diversity, inclusion, and LGBTQ belonging throughout the agency.”

Her body was recovered Saturday morning after rescuers decided to halt their recovery efforts Friday amid challenging conditions on the park’s Mount Johnson, where Mecus’ climbing partner survived after falling with her, the National Park Service said in a statement.

The survivor, who wasn’t identified, was described by the service as a 30-year-old woman from California. She sustained serious injuries and was rescued by rangers Friday morning before she was ultimately flown to an Anchorage hospital, the park service said.

The accident took place Thursday night as the pair was ascending Mount Johnson in a steep, technical climb on the mountain’s southeast face, park officials said previously.

The climbers were roped together on a 5,000-foot route called “the Escalator” when they fell 1,000 feet, the park service said.

The “Escalator” route on Mt. Johnson, Denali National Park and Preserve. The X indicates the approximate location of the rescue of the surviving climbing partner.J. Kayes / NPS

A witness called first…

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