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Korean climber dies while descending Mount McKinley

Shin, whose cause of death remains unknown, was on guided expedition

Posted: Sunday, July 02, 2006

ANCHORAGE - Officials on Saturday released the name of a climber who died after he collapsed while descending Mount McKinley.

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Shin Kyungsup, 53, of Seoul, Korea, died Thursday night. The cause of death remains unknown, but does not appear to be the result of a fall or other injury, Denali National Park and Preserve officials said.

Shin was on a guided expedition with the Alaska Mountaineering School that began June 13, officials said. Part of an eight-member team, Shin was descending the West Buttress route when he collapsed or sat down at the 15,800-foot level at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, park spokeswoman Maureen McLaughlin said.

When the climbing guides reached him, Shin was unconscious and unresponsive. The climbers radioed the 14,200-foot ranger camp for help and tried to resuscitate him for 30 minutes.

Rangers, mountain guides and volunteers reached the site about 8 p.m. and carried Shin in a rescue litter down to the ranger camp's medical tent. Shin was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

According to park officials, Shin's guides and teammates said he had shown no sign of altitude sickness or other physical problems during the expedition, which reached the 18,600-foot level of the 20,320-foot mountain, North America's tallest peak.

Rangers were waiting Saturday for winds and snow to clear before flying Shin's body off the mountain.



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