Six climbers lost on Mount Rainier


by KING 5 News and Associated Press

Posted on May 31, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 1 at 7:23 AM

Six experienced climbers, including two guides with Alpine Ascents International, are missing on Mount Rainier. Park officials say there is every indication that some sort of accident or fall happened and the climbers did not survive.

Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Patti Wold said Liberty Ridge is one of the more technical and advanced routes on the mountain.

Wold said two guides with Alpine Ascents International and four clients were reported missing Friday at about 4:30 p.m.

Wold says the party went in on Monday and were due out Friday.

The last time anyone spoke to them was Wednesday around 6 p.m. via satellite phone.

On Saturday, a ground search spotted camping and climbing gear at the 9,000-foot Carbon Glacier.

A helicopter was able to fly low enough that it detected a beacon signal in the area where the gear was found.

The climbers had indicated on Wednesday that weather was moving in so it’s believed they most likely hunkered down at that time. It’s possible they fell 3,000 feet to the 9,000-foot level.

The beacon signal was coming from a debris area, where rock, ice and snow were continuously coming down.

Searchers can’t get into the area because of the extreme danger. Park officials said there would be a "limited and continuous" search.