Two Mountaineers Presumed Dead After Disappearing During Summit Attempt in Alaska

Two mountaineers, Eli Michel and Nafiun Awal, who attempted to summit a 10,300-foot peak in Alaska, are presumed dead after disappearing, as reported by PEOPLE. The climbers began their ascent to a peak known as the Moose's Tooth at Denali National Park and Preserve on May 5.

At the time, the men said they intended to climb the West Ridge route of the Moose's Tooth, a steep technical route to the peak. Mountaineering rangers found evidence that suggests the climbers were swept off their feet by a small slab avalanche while high on the West Ridge route.

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Despite an extensive search, the search managers have determined that the survival of the missing men is outside the window of possibility. The search for Eli and Nafiun began after a concerned friend reported that they had not returned as expected, nor had they checked back in via InReach.

Crews conducting an initial search of the area located the duo's unattended tent and later found boot tracks that led to the location of a recent small slab avalanche. The climbers were only equipped with supplies that would last for a single day in the wilderness, as they planned to climb the route in a single, long push.

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An aerial search for signs of the two missing climbers will continue for the next several months as temperatures rise. The tragic incident highlights the inherent risks associated with mountaineering and serves as a reminder of the importance of preparedness and safety measures in such endeavors.

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