Search Suspended for Missing Liberty Ridge Climber

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Date: June 13, 2015
Contact: Patti Wold, PIO, 360-569-6563

Saturday, June 13, 2015, 2:30 pm — The search for Kyle Bufis is being suspended today after a deceased male climber was spotted by the search helicopter near the summit of Mount Rainier. The body is currently being retrieved by climbing rangers. Although the subject matches the description of the missing climber, confirmation rests with the Pierce County Medical Examiner.

Bufis, age 25 from Utah, was a member of an independent three person climbing team when he went missing near Liberty Saddle on Mount Rainier at approximately 9:00 pm on Thursday, June 11, 2015, after climbing the challenging Liberty Ridge route on the north flank of Mount Rainier. The other two members of the climbing team, Derek Gavelis and Mathew Wiech, descended to Camp Schurman of their own accord late the next day. Both were tired, but are in good physical condition. 

Special thanks goes out to the US Army Reserve 214th Air Division and Northwest Helicopters for air support during this mission and to King County for delivery and use of the under mount helicopter avalanche beacon receiver.

The helicopters with crews and Mount Rainier climbing rangers were involved in the search. Thirty nine park personnel were assigned over the course of the incident.


A silhouette of a person wearing a flight helmet with head bowed looks out the open door of a helicopter.
NPS Climbing Ranger searching from US Army Reserve Chinook.

NPS/Jon Bowman Photo

Last updated: June 13, 2015

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