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    Teklanika Denali National Park
    Hiking
    63.6704°N, 149.5813°W
     
     
    Our
    survivor
    stories
    Teklanika Denali National Park
    Hiking
    63.6704°N, 149.5813°W

    Resqlink  plb front view

    ResQLink™+

    2881
    Shop Now
    Survivor
    Norton
    Rescued By
    Local Search and Rescue
    Date Of Rescue
    2017-07-25

    Lives saved

    2
    Adults

    Activity

    Hiking

    Terrain

    Forrest

    Issue

    Lost

     

    Weather

    What happened?

     

    A friend and I had been planning a wilderness backpacking trip in Denali for nearly 2 years. The end result was that while we were not as experienced or prepared as we thought we were, we still managed to have a great time. Fast forward to day three, we had spent the better part of a day scaling and finally reaching the double mountain pass in Unit 5. Exhausted, we wanted to reach the Teklanika River in Unit 6, and we began our descent. 


    FIRST APPROACH @4PM - Follow the river in the center. The river on the descent path, an inlet to the Teklanika, was much steeper and treacherous than the other side of the mountain. Within 30 minutes, stalled, 15-20ft waterfall, rock cliffs, no escape. 30 minute backtrack. 


    SECOND APPROACH @5:30PM - Cut south over the mound. After about 30 minutes of hiking, stalled. Deep cliff drop-off. 30 minute backtrack. It was at this point in the trip the mistakes began to really happen. 


    THIRD APPROACH @6:30PM - Cut to the North and try another river. At this point in the day we were so determined to get to the bottom of the mountain that we started attempting to traverse terrain that was not suited for human travel. Small to medium cliff edges with wet, fragile rock that kept breaking under our feet. 


    THE CRITICAL MISTAKE - we reached two small waterfalls, each had a 7 foot drop-off with extremely slippery edges that were made of single smooth rock, no footholds, no escape route. We committed to it and both slipped down the waterfalls, getting soaked, the 39 degree Denali water did not help in the mountain weather. At this point we walked no more than 20 feet just to realize that we were stranded between a rock and a hard place, a 25 ft waterfall on one end and an unclimbable series of waterfalls, wet, cold, windy, and out of dry clothes. 


    We were officially stuck. I activated the beacon at around 7:00PM Alaska time. I would later be told that the signal was instantly received, and the responders had launched a helicopter shortly after. We waited, put on as many dry layers as we could find and insulated ourselves from the wind. At around 9:30 the responders arrived, airlifted us out, and took us back to the park airport. They initially offered to even let us continue our trip, but had to withdraw.


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    Words of Wisdom

     
    To the National Park service, the Denali Park Rangers, and all the crew that rescued us and made sure we had a place to recover, thank you.

    Thank you note to ACR

     

    Thank you ACR!

    Rescue Location

     

    Next story

    Taupo, New Zealand, Hiking


    ResQLink™+

    2881

    Buoyant Personal Locator Beacon

    It may be small, but it's tough. The ResQLink™+ Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is a buoyant, GPS-enabled rescue beacon that's suited for outdoor adventures of all sizes (think: everything from hiking and cycling to hunting and fishing). Should you run into an unexpected survival situation, the ResQLink+ PLB will relay your location to a network of search and rescue satellites, allowing local first responders to more easily get you home safe and sound. Be Prepared for the Unpredictable

     

    • Buoyant
    • LED strobe light
    • Self Test
    • 66 Channel GPS
    • Easy emergency activation
    • Antenna clip

     

    WARNING: PROP 65

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