Two mountain climbers, Eli Michel and Nafiun Awal, are believed to have died after disappearing during their ascent of a 10,300-foot peak in Alaska.
In a recent statement by the National Park Service (NPS), it was reported that Eli Michel, a 34-year-old resident of Columbia City, Indiana, and Nafiun Awal, a 32-year-old resident of Seattle, Washington, embarked on a journey to the Moose’s Tooth at Denali National Park and Preserve on May 5th.
As per the agency’s report, the climbers’ last communication was at 5 a.m. local time on the same day, where they checked in with a friend via an InReach satellite communication device.
According to the men, they intended to ascend the Moose’s Tooth via the West Ridge route, which has been deemed a challenging technical climb by the National Park Service. As per the agency’s report, evidence has been found by mountaineering rangers indicating that the climbers were hit by a small slab avalanche on Friday evening while they were at a high altitude on the West Ridge route.
Two men, one from Indiana and the other from Seattle, who went missing in an Alaskan national park, are now presumed dead.
As per the NPS, search coordinators evaluated on Thursday that the missing men’s survival is beyond the realm of possibility. The search has been narrowed down, according to sources. On Sunday, the search for Eli and Nafiun was initiated after a friend expressed concern to the authorities that they had not returned as planned and had not made contact through InReach.
Upon conducting an initial investigation of the area, crews have reported the discovery of a “unattended” tent belonging to the duo. Additionally, boot traces were found leading to the location of a recent small slab avalanche.
According to a report by the National Park Service (NPS), a number of items belonging to the climber were spotted along the 3,200-foot fall line. These items included two ice axes and a climbing helmet.
As per the NPS, the climbers were reportedly equipped for only a solitary day in the wilderness. As per their friend, the men had planned to ascend the trail “in one continuous effort.”
According to reports, the men allegedly did not bring any overnight gear and only packed enough food, water, and fuel for one day.” According to the National Park Service, the search for the two missing climbers will persist for several months as temperatures increase, with an emphasis on an aircraft search.
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