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Two climbers fall to deaths on Alaska's Mt. McKinley

Mt. McKinley as photographed from an airplane in 2007.

Two climbers who perished Thursday after plummeting 2,000 feet on Alaska's Mt. McKinley have been identified as John Mislow, 39, of Newton, Mass., and Andrew Swanson, 36, of Minneapolis.

They reportedly were roped together when they fell while on the Messner Couloir, from about 16,500 feet to about 14,500 feet.

Both were doctors and experienced climbers, and their bodies were recovered, according to a story in today's Anchorage Daily News. McKinley, at 20,320 feet, is North America's highest peak. More than 300 mountaineers remain on the mountain, which is within Denali National Park & Preserve.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Mt. McKinley as photographed from an airplane in 2007. Credit: Ron Drake

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Comments (5)

he fell for 7.88293554 seconds

2000ft is 609.6 meters

609.6m / 9.81(m/s)2 = 7.88293554

It is not usually a freefall...many rocks and ice to hit on the way down till you are at rest or just a long slide till something hard stops you.

I believe it would take approx. 11 seconds...that's a long time to know what's going to happen to you :( Try to imagine falling and count off 11 seconds, I think I would die of fright long before I hit the ground, but I'm afraid of heights.

(My math may be off, I don't know what they weighed)

how long would it take to fall 2000 feet????!!!!!

I'm so sorry to hear about the two deaths on Mt. McKinley. It is the tallest mountain in the U.S.A. But I live near Mt. Washington, which is one of the most dangerous mountains with the worst weather in the world, and gets more than its fair share of deaths because of the extreme weather.


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