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    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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Recovery on the Paradise Glacier

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Date: September 8, 2012
Contact: Kevin Bacher, PIO, 360-569-6701

Rangers at Mount Rainier National Park recovered two bodies from the Paradise Glacier late yesterday afternoon, probably members of a group of four climbers that went missing in January. The body of a third climber was found nearby in August. Search efforts are continuing today.

On Thursday, September 6, while conducting routine resupply operations to Camp Muir by helicopter, a body was spotted hanging over the edge of a large crevasse on the Paradise Glacier southeast of Anvil Rock. In addition, camping and climbing gear could be seen strewn across the bottom of the crevasse. The body was partially buried under about 5 feet of snow and clearly had been in place for some time. The site is about a quarter mile east of the standard climbing route and on the other side of a ridge, at about 8,200 feet elevation.

On Friday, September 7, climbing rangers retrieved the body of a female individual from the crevasse with the help of an AS350B3 helicopter, on detail to Mount Rainier from Denali National Park and operated by Temsco Helicopters Inc. Shortly thereafter, a male body was recovered from under the snow nearby. Both individuals were transported by ambulance to the Pierce County Medical Examiner, who will determine their identities and causes of death.

Four climbers went missing in this vicinity during January storms. Exactly one month ago, on August 6, the body of Mark Vucich was found near the climbing route on the Muir Snowfield, about half a mile above Pebble Creek at about 8,000 feet elevation. The bodies recovered yesterday are likely members of the same group of climbers. Identification will be confirmed by the Medical Examiner.

Rangers are returning to the site today, both on foot and by helicopter, to further investigate what appears to be a large campsite buried under the snow on the edge of the crevasse, in hopes of finding clues to explain what happened and, ultimately, lead to a fourth missing climber.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Gobblers Knob fire lookout.

In the early 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corp constructed fire lookouts throughout the park to help protect the surrounding area from fire. Four historic lookouts still remain in the Mount Rainier National Historic Landmark District including Tolmie, Shriner, Fremont, and Gobblers Knob.