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Third (and maybe 4th) Fatality on Liberty Ridge This Season

June 18 2004 at 2:04 PM
roger  (Login dipper)

Response to Rainier's Chinook Pass Opens Earliest in 23 Years


The body of an overdue climber was spotted yesterday at the 9,000-foot level of Mount Rainier and a second climber was missing, a Mount Rainier National Park ranger said. Meanwhile, two other climbers asked to be rescued yesterday on the same Liberty Ridge route.
Rangers in a helicopter saw the climber — whose death would be the third in the past month on the mountain — lying motionless and face-down in the snow on the Carbon Glacier on the 14,411-foot peak's north side, about 1 p.m., supervisory climbing ranger Mike Gauthier said last night. The body was west of Liberty Ridge on the glacier, below Liberty Wall.

Weather was treacherous on the mountain over the weekend, when the Missoula, Mont., men were climbing, with snowdrifts more than 8 feet high in some areas and winds over 50-75 mph.

The experienced climbers — one 29 and the other reportedly 23 — were due back Monday after climbing the dangerous Liberty Ridge route. Two other climbers have died in separate incidents on Liberty Ridge since May 15.

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