American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall into Crevasse while Ski Mountaineering, Alaska, Mount Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Mount Wrangell

  • Accident Reports
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  • Publication Year: 1996


Alaska, Mount Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Mount Wrangell

A party of five skiers attempting a ski-traverse of Mount Wrangell in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park were rescued April 11 by pilot Harley McMahan after a full day aerial search by McMahan and the National Park Service. The group was found ten miles west of the Long Glacier. The leader of the party, Dave Cramer of Tok, had dislocated his shoulder after falling into a crevasse on Nabesna Glacier. After rescuing the 46-year-old Cramer from the crevasse, the group decided to take a “shortcut” down the Long Glacier, across the Copper River and out to the Edgerton Highway instead of their planned route over the top of Mount Wrangell and down the Sanford Glacier to Gakona.

The other members of the party included Cramer’s 19-year-old son Eric Cramer, his 16-year-old daughter Mara Cramer, both of Tok, Robert Rourke and Rob Groseclose of Fairbanks. Rourke, Groseclose and the older Cramer had all participated in the Alaska Wilderness Classic race when it traversed the Wrangell Mountains in 1988, 1989, and 1990. The three were experienced in ski-mountaineering and had completed previous trips in the area. (From an article in the Mukluk News, April 20, 1995.)

(Editors Note: There is no indication as to whether the party was roped, which is a good idea in such terrain.)

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