American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Falling Ice, Alaska, Mount McKinley, Mount Johnson

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2001


Alaska, Mount McKinley, Mount Johnson

At 1500 on June 8, Jeff Benowitz (30) and partner Chris Turiano (29) started climbing a new route on the East Buttress of Mt. Johnson. Turiano was leading approximately 100 feet up the route when falling ice struck his belayer,

Benowitz, giving him moderate injuries. Turiano did not cause the ice to fall. Benowitz lowered Turiano to the ground and they both skied back to their basecamp. Turiano provided basic first aid to Benowitz and stomped a “HELP” message into the snow.

At 1700, an air taxi flight spotted the “HELP” message and informed the Talkeetna Ranger Station. At 1733, Talkeetna Air Taxi pilot Paul Roderick reported that he had landed at the site, described the climbers’ conditions, and said he would be transporting Benowitz back to Talkeetna. Turiano stayed on the Ruth Glacier. Roderick and Benowitz arrived in Talkeetna at 1910. Park personnel Dave Kreutzer took Benowitz to the Sunshine Clinic, where he received eight stitches to his forehead. He also had sustained minor bruising to his left shoulder.

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