Brian Young 2011-06-10

Kodiak climber dies of apparent heart attack on McKinley

By KYLE HOPKINS,, Published: June 11th, 2011

A 52-year-old Kodiak man died of an apparent heart attack Friday morning while descending from the summit of Mount McKinley, the National Park Service says.

Brian Young had arrived in his tent at a high camp 17,200 feet up the mountain after an arduous 20-hour day of climbing when he suddenly stopped breathing, witnesses told the Park Service.

Young's tent mates notified a Park Service mountaineering patrol at the high camp who tried to resuscitate the climber. Young was pronounced dead at 11 a.m. by a Park Service volunteer physician's assistant.

Young is the fifth climber to die this year on the 20,320-foot McKinley, North America's tallest mountain.

Suzanne Allen, a mountaineering guide from Seattle, and Peter Bullard of Shanghai, China, were killed in a fall May 25; Italian climber Luciano Colombo, 67, died May 16 when he slipped while making a steep traverse near Denali Pass and fell 1,000 feet; and Swiss climber Beat Niedere, 38, died at 18,000 feet on May 12.

The deadliest season on the mountain came in 1992, when 11 climbers died.