Mount Rainer Climbers Feared Dead After Fall
Ellisha Rader Mannering
A group of six mountain climbers who were on a five-day climb on the Liberty Ridge route on Mount Rainer, have been missing since Friday. Park officials believe that they may have fallen during their climb and say they are likely dead.
The Liberty Ridge route is one of the more advanced routes on the mountain. Four of the climbers were from the Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International and the other two were guides. All of them had met the pre-requisites required to make the climb, and had the necessary ice and technical climbing skills.
Park officials believe the group fell 3,300 feet from their last known whereabouts of 12,800 feet on Liberty Ridge.
“It’s inconceivable that anyone survived that” said park spokesperson Patti Wold.
Park officials said that they have no immediate plans to recover the bodies and will not be able to do so until the conditions on the mountain improve.
The conditions on the mountain are extremely dangerous and would make it almost impossible to search for the climbers or their bodies.
The conditions improved slightly on Wednesday and many rescue workers searched for the missing group and checked every possible place where the group could have sought shelter during the recent bad weather conditions that struck during their climb.
The same guiding service that was accompanying the climbers on Mount Rainer also lost several guides in the Mount Everest avalanche that happened in April.
“It’s devastating, it’s emotionally draining, it’s trying to make sense of it all,” said the guide service director.
The recent Mount Rainer accident is the worst to happen on the Cascade Mountains since 11 people died in 1981. The group had been climbing Ingraham Glacier when they were hit by a massive ice fall.
Do you think there is a chance that the climbers are still alive?
Image via Wikimedia Commons