American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Exposure, Fatigue, Frostbite, Alaska, Mt. McKinley

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979


Alaska, Mt. McKinley

On a winter ascent of the Muldrow Glacier route, Fred Barstad (29) had frostbitten his toes about 16,000 feet at the end of a hard day while building a snow cave. The team was using double boots with insulated overboots. Barstad and Daniel Knight (who volunteered to accompany him) began descending on March 14 and requested fixed wing pickup at 10,000 feet. Bad weather and snow conditions prevented fixed wing pickup and they were removed by helicopter on March 17. (Source: Nick Hartzell, Mt. McKinley National Park)


Winter attempts on McKinley are met with the severest of cold weather extremes. Vapor barrier boots are suggested, especially as physical fatigue is almost inevitable during the course of this climb. (Source: J. Williamson)

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