Belgian mountaineer dies on Alaska's McKinley

10:00, June 09, 2010      

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A Belgium mountaineer was killed in a accident on Mount McKinley Monday when his climbing anchor apparently failed and he fell in a steep gully.

The accident happened on Monday afternoon on a technically challenging section of the Cassin Ridge on North America's highest mountain, the National Park Service said on Tuesday.

Joris Van Reeth of Belguim, 27, was leading the way as he and his climbing partner were scaling the Japanese Couloir at about 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). It appears that Van Reeth's anchor pulled loose and he fell about 100 feet.

According to information filed with the Park Service, both the Belgian mountaineers had experience climbing in the Alps. A climb in Kazakhstan also was listed.

The death is the second on McKinley so far this climbing season. A French climber died last month.

Van Reeth is the 108th person to die on McKinley since 1932.

Four climbers died last year.



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