Skier Survives 2600-Foot Fall on Denali

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Ed Maginn cartwheeled a vertical half-mile down the Orient Express route on Denali last week but survived with minor injuries. The 33-year-old, highly experienced ski mountaineer from Utah was descending from the 20,320-foot peak with two companions and had already skied about 1,000 feet of the Orient Express, a steep snow gully that parallels the Upper West Rib, when he fell during a turn and began sliding. After somersaulting around 2,600 feet down the gully, Maginn came to a stop at about 15,700 feet, picked himself up, and began walking toward the 14,200-foot camp on Denali’s West Buttress route. Rangers there, alerted by a radio call from Maginn’s companions, were already on their way toward him. Amazingly, the skier had suffered only bruises and scratches; he was helicoptered to a hospital in Anchorage for examination. Since 1972, 15 climbers and skiers have died in falls down the Orient Express. Comment on this story