Is Deadly Everest-Style Tourism Coming to Denali?

Mount Everest isn’t just the tallest mountain in the world, it’s also one of the deadliest. This year alone it has claimed four lives and left several others brutally injured, even missing fingers and toes. And while Everest is known to be a yearly, deadly disaster, in part due to long lines near the summit, its counterpart in North America is vying for competition.

The problem is not the number of people flocking to Denali National Park in U-Hauls—although this is happening due to surging rental car prices—or the cruisers who have reconfigured their Alaskan getaways. Instead, climbers and mountaineers are engaging in riskier than normal behavior on the park’s namesake peak, creating one of the deadliest climbing seasons in years.

On May 3, a skier from Colorado on a multi-day trip fell into a glacier crevasse around Alaska’s Mount Denali and died. On May 13, a climber from Idaho was killed on the mountain by a falling block of glacier ice. His climbing partner was able to call for help, and despite significant injuries, was helicoptered off the mountain. A week or so later, a Canadian climber was seriously injured in what was almost a 1,000-foot fall, but was saved by a nearby helicopter doing routine glacier surveys.