Successful Recovery Mission on Mount Rainier

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Date: August 20, 2014
Contact: Patti Wold, Information Officer, 360-569-6701

The bodies of three deceased climbers were removed from a debris field on the Carbon Glacier, below Liberty Ridge, on Tuesday, August 19, 2014. This is the same location the search for six missing climbers was focused on earlier this year. While they are believed to be members of the party of interest, the Pierce County Medical Examiner will provide final identification.

The bodies were spotted on August 7, during a training flight in the area. Recent warm weather melted some of the ice and snow in the debris field, exposing the three. Park staff, working with personnel from Northwest Helicopters, developed a plan to mitigate the risk involved in extricating the bodies from this highly dangerous location. Rock and ice fall off Willis Wall, and an increase in new crevasses in Carbon Glacier below, combine to make this one of the most hazardous locations in the park.

The operation consisted of Northwest Helicopters MD-530 using a remote controlled Heli-Tech grabber device mounted from a 100 foot long line. Eight park rangers participated in the planning and execution of the operation.

No evidence of additional remains was encountered during the operation.


Last updated: February 28, 2015

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