New York climber dies on Denali

Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2009

ANCHORAGE - A 61-year-old climber from New York has died on Alaska's Mount McKinley.

William Hearne, of Fairport, N.Y., died after he collapsed while ascending the West Buttress route of the 20,320-foot mountain, North America's highest peak.

Officials with Denali National Park and Preserve say Hearne was part of a six-member expedition that began the climb May 1.

Hearne collapsed Thursday afternoon after his team reached the 13,500-foot level. Expedition guides began CPR and were soon joined by rangers in the area.

Hearne never regained a pulse and was pronounced dead about a half hour later.

Officials say the body will be retrieved later by helicopter.

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