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Contact: Kevin Bacher, PIO, 360-569-6567
Rangers at Mount Rainier National Park today completed the rescue of a climber who fell into a crevasse while descending yesterday from the summit of Mount Rainier. The climber was retrieved from 12,300 feet elevation on the Emmons Glacier, on the mountains' east side, by the park's exclusive-use A-Star B3 helicopter.
Officials at Mount Rainier received word of the accident yesterday afternoon via a 911 cell phone call. A party of three had climbed the mountain that morning and were descending by skis and snowboard when one member of the party, a 24-year-old femail, fell into a crevasse. Park rangers responded by helicopter, inserting six rescuers to the site, who used rope rescue techniques to raise the injured but responsive climber 100 feet to the surface of the glacier by nightfall. Two rangers spent the night with her on the mountain while the rest descended with her companions.
This morning, the A-Star helicopter returned to retrieve the injured climber, who was lifted from a 35-degree slope using short haul techniques and delivered to a waiting medical unit at White River Ranger Station around 11:00 a.m. The patient has unspecified pelvic and back injuries and head lacerations, and was delivered by ground transportation to Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup.
The rescue was completed with National Park Service climbing and aviation resources and FD/AMR Medic 35 out of Buckley. Rangers will spend the remainder of the day retrieving gear and resupplying high camps.