Body of Gary Cole found on Denali

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Body of Gary Cole found on Denali

Post by TomTuriano »

(this post was originally posted in late June of 2004, but was accidentally deleted)

The body of Greater Yellowstone climber Gary Cole was found on Denali. Here's the Park Service body recovery report:

On Friday, June 25th, a climbing party discovered the well-preserved body of a deceased climber at the 17,200-foot camp on the West Buttress route on Mt. McKinley. An investigation confirmed that they were the remains of Gary Cole of Cody, Wyoming, who died of high altitude pulmonary edema at the 17,200-foot camp on June 19, 1969. Cole, who was 32 years old at the time of his death, was a member of a six-man expedition that began an ascent of Mt. McKinley on June 6, 1969. His teammates decided to bury him at the 17,200-foot camp, as that had reportedly been his wish. Cole's identity was confirmed by personal effects found on the body - a watch with a calendar dated June, 1969, and a wedding band matching the description provided by his widow. Cole's family asked that he be left on the mountain. Following a review of regulations and related information, the NPS, state police and the medical examiner's office agreed to the request. Cole\'s remains, however, will be re-interred on the plateau near the ranger camp at the 14,200-foot level, where they were lowered subsequent to their discovery. The camp at the 17,200-foot level is too heavily used and has snow that's too shallow and windblown for re-interment at that location. [Submitted by Maureen McLaughlin, Public Information Officer]
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