(TheRedWire.com) – Climbing any mountain is difficult and dangerous. It’s even worse when hikers choose the tallest mountain in North America and don’t have the right equipment for the journey. That’s what happened to three hikers on May 24 this year as they were making their way up Denali, formerly called Mt. McKinley, in Alaska. The mountain’s summit reaches 20,320 feet above sea level. At over 17,000 feet up, Dr. Jason Lance figured out he had made a crucial mistake. After calling for a chopper for help, dispatchers told him “no” due to weather conditions. Then, he lied to get the helicopter, and he’s now in serious trouble with the law.
Doctor is charged with lying to cops 'after he climbed 20,300ft Denali and faked HYPOTHERMIA' https://t.co/LLdQGHAfjf
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) November 11, 2021
After the National Park Service (NPS) said a helicopter couldn’t safely come for them, the 47-year-old radiologist from Utah told NPS some of his companions were in shock and suffering from hypothermia. It wasn’t true. Unbeknownst to the climbers, a chopper passing by thought it would help but saw the three men making their way down the mountain. Once safely at a secured location, park rangers met them.
The two hikers told park rangers they hadn’t suffered from any ailments, contrary to Dr. Lance’s claims. In addition to the misinformation, Lance also deleted messages from a satellite phone after rangers instructed him to keep the messages. Regardless, law enforcement found one message indicating Lance didn’t want to come back down on his own because he didn’t have the proper equipment.
Lance is facing three criminal charges for making the false report. The court scheduled Lance to appear before a judge via zoom on November 29. Lance says he is innocent of the charges.
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