Park Service) Bethany Pate, 19, of Cleveland,
Tennessee died of injuries sustained during a fall that took place at
approximately 11:30 p.m. on Monday, August 16th, during a day hike on
Mt. Healy. Pate and one of her two hiking companions were attempting
to go below a rock outcropping in steep, rugged terrain near the
summit at the 4,500 foot elevation when she stepped on a loose rock
and fell approximately 45 feet, landing face-down against some rocks
below the outcropping.
She was semi-conscious when her hiking
partner, Rosemary Korish, 18, of Cashton, Wisconsin reached her
location. Korish called for help from Anthony Cluff, 23, from
Houston, Texas, who had stayed below to wait for the two to return.
Cluff remained with Pate while Korish hiked back about
three-and-a-half miles back to the trailhead to seek assistance.
rangers were notified by a call from the concession bus barn just
after midnight. Due to the time of night and rugged terrain, the
Rescue Communication Center (RCC) in Anchorage was contacted. RCC
dispatched a night-vision equipped Pavehawk helicopter with a crew of
technically trained rescue personnel, including paramedics, and
HC-130 plane from the 210th Rescue Squadron stationed at the Kulis
Air National Guard Base in Anchorage. The HC-130 was sent along to
facilitate communications, refuel the helicopter, and provide
additional support with parajumpers if needed. The aircraft left
Anchorage around 2:45 a.m. The plane arrived first, in about 45
minutes, and its crew was able to see the beam from the Cluff’s
flashlight. The helicopter landed near the site at 4:15 a.m., and the
paramedics determined that Pate was no longer alive.
Cluff was flown
out to the park airstrip. During a later interview, he told rangers
that Pate had stopped breathing within 30 minutes after Korish had
gone for assistance. Rangers flew to the accident location to
complete the investigation and remove Pate’s body from the mountain.
Pate and her hiking companions were seasonal employees of the
McKinley Chalet Resorts. The hike to Mt. Healy is a popular day hike,
even though only the first two miles is maintained trail. Above that
point, access is via social trail or cross-country travel. This is
the first falling fatality to have occurred on Mt. Healy.
by Kris Fister, Public Affairs Officer]