Denali sign

A University of Alaska Fairbanks doctoral student died Tuesday in a rock climbing accident in Denali National Park.

Evan Millsap, 26, was climbing with a friend in a drainage off Igloo Canyon, just east of Tattler Creek near Mile 37 of the park road. The anchor system the team set up failed when Millsap rappelled down the rock face, resulting in a 70-foot fall, according to the National Park Service. Millsap’s companion, who was not identified, then climbed down the ridge. After assessing the severity of Millsap’s injuries, he sought emergency assistance from the host at Teklanika Campground. Rangers were notified of the accident at 11:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Rescue personnel from park headquarters, Toklat and Friday Creek reached the accident site at about 1:15 a.m., according to a park news release. After consultation with the park medical director via satellite phone, rangers pronounced Millsap deceased at the scene. His remains were carried out to the park road by the rescue team and then transported to the park entrance area.

Millsap was a doctoral student in geoscience.

UAF Chancellor Dan White announced that free help is available for students and professors who grieve this loss. The Student Health and Counseling Center can help at 474-7043. For more information, visit

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.