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High above Denali National Park

Source: Radomir Jovanovic / Getty

DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, Alaska — An Indiana man who went missing after an avalanche near Denali is now presumed dead.

34-year-old Eli Michel of Columbia City was with Seattle man Nafiun Awal near Moose’s Tooth in Ruth Gorge last Friday, which was the last time they checked in with their friends.  Moose’s Tooth is about 12 miles from Denali, the tallest mountain peak in North America.

Park rangers think the hikers might have triggered an avalanche on May 5th and gone down on the West Ridge route.  Searchers eventually found the hikers’ tent and some other supplies.

The two men have still not been found.  Unfortunately, search leaders now think “survival is outside the window of possibility,” due to factors such as the time elapsed, the frigid temperatures, and the climbers’ lack of supplies.

The Associated Press reports that rangers intend to “continue aerial searches for signs of the climbers over the next few months.”