Recovery on the Paradise Glacier
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.
Did You Know?
The Paradise meadows were once home to a golf course, rope tows for skiers, an auto campground, and rows of tent cabins. All of these activities damaged the meadows, as does walking off-trail. Management practices have changed over the years, and we now protect and restore our precious subalpine meadows.