Six Climbers Dead Mount Rainier

June 2, 2014 by  

Six Climbers Dead Mount Rainier, Mount Rainier as seen from the White River Campground, where six missing climbers started their journey. The six climbers were last heard from at 6 p.m. Wednesday, at 12,800 feet.

National Park Service spokeswoman Patti Wold briefs reporters on the search and recovery efforts for the missing climbers on Saturday.

Six climbers were killed in a 3,300-foot fall along the steep north slope of Mount Rainier, officials said Saturday, in the worst disaster on the mountain in more than three decades.

Searchers found tents and clothes, mixed with rock and ice, in a debris field along the Carbon Glacier at 9,500 feet, according to the National Park Service. The group’s climbing route, to Liberty Peak, is prone to slides and among the more advanced on the mountain.

Such a fall leaves no real chance of survival, and the location is so perilous, the Park Service said in a statement, “there is no certainty that recovery is possible.”

The six climbers — two guides and four clients from Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International — were last heard from at 6 p.m. Wednesday by satellite phone. At that time the party was at 12,800 feet with plans to camp overnight.

When they failed to return Friday as planned, the company contacted park rangers. Alpine Ascents is the company that lost five Sherpas at Mount Everest this spring.

At Mount Rainier, the search Saturday by helicopters and climbing rangers was suspended four hours before dark.

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