Colorado ski-mountaineer dies in Alaska Range crevasse fall

The red dot indicates the location of the fall. The summit of Denali is about 20 miles west. (NPS map)

A Colorado man has died in the Alaska Range after falling into a crevasse.

Mason Stansfield of Ouray, Colorado was ski-mountaineering with a partner when he fell into the crevasse on Monday afternoon. The pair were near the Eldridge Glacier, east of Denali.

Denali National Park spokesperson Maureen Gualtieri says the crevasse Stansfield fell into was relatively large.

“The ranger that was lowered down in the crevasse estimates he was down a hundred feet or so,” Gualtieri said. “That’s a deep, relatively wide crevasse.”

According to Gualtieri, Stansfield’s partner used a two-way satellite communication device to request help. A ranger team had been flying in the range earlier in the day, so they were already packed and ready to respond.

Gualtieri says satellite communication advancements in recent years have removed some of the guesswork from rescue operations.

“Back and forth communication about what’s going on, so we know what gear to bring. It also provides the exact location of where the accident took place, so there was no looking around,” she said.

Gualtieri says Stansfield had worked as a guide on Denali in the past, so he was familiar with glacier travel and the Alaska Range. He and his skiing partner were on a personal ten-day trip when the fall occurred.

Mason Stansfield was 28 years old. His body was recovered from the glacier Monday evening.

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