A 28-year-old Colorado man died on Monday after falling into a crevasse while ski touring in Denali National Park and Reserve, Alaska. The man has been identified as Mason Stansfield, 28, of Ouray, Colorado. He was an experienced skier, climber, and mountain guide.
Rangers received an InReach communication at 3:30 pm Monday afternoon reporting that a ski mountaineer had fallen into a crevasse in the southeastern sector of the park near the Eldridge Glacier.
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Stansfield and his female partner were skinning up the Eldridge Glacier as part of a ten-day camping and ski touring trip to the area. The two were not roped together.
“It was my understanding that the winter snow cover had hidden that (crevasse). There was another one in the vicinity that was more obvious that they were skirting … when this occurred.”
– Maureen Gualtieri, park spokeswoman
Full statement from the NPS below:
Denali National Park and Preserve mountaineering rangers received an InReach communication on Monday, May 3 at 3:30 PM reporting that a ski mountaineer had fallen into a crevasse in the southeastern sector of the park near the Eldridge Glacier. The reporting partner could not see or communicate with the fallen skier and was requesting NPS assistance.
The park’s high-altitude helicopter pilot and two NPS mountaineering rangers departed the Talkeetna State Airport within thirty minutes of the emergency communication. The rescuers flew directly to the party’s GPS coordinates located on the South Spur of the Eldridge Glacier in gently sloping terrain at an elevation just under 8,000 feet.
While the helicopter pilot immediately returned to Talkeetna to pick up two more NPS rescuers, one of the mountaineering rangers on the scene was lowered into the crevasse. Upon reaching the fallen skier approximately 100-feet below the glacier surface, the ranger confirmed the skier had died in the fall. The ski mountaineer has been identified as Mason Stansfield, age 28, of Ouray, Colorado.
The skier’s uninjured partner was transported back to Talkeetna. Denali mountaineering rangers recovered Stansfield’s remains later that evening.