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Search for Olympia man on Mount Rainier’s Liberty Ridge scaled back again

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on June 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
June 24, 2011 12:17 pm

From Patti Wold at Mount Rainier National Park:

The search has been scaled down to a “continuing limited search” for the climber, presumed deceased on Liberty Ridge last week.  Earlier search efforts provided distinctive clues that indicate the climber fell from his exposed bivy at 13,600 feet.  Search efforts focused heavily in areas where the fallen climber would have likely come to rest.  Much of the search area is composed of icefall debris, several heavily crevassed areas, and the Carbon Glacier bergschrund.  High objective hazards from ice and rockfall continue to severely limit search efforts on the ground and initial aviation-based searches were curtailed due to unsafe flying conditions.  Continuing search efforts include investigation of photos taken during the flights, interviews with climbers on the route, visual searches from the ground from safe vantage points by National Park Service rangers patrols on the route (two three-day patrols as of Saturday), as well as continued, opportunistic aerial search by helicopter throughout the remainder of the season, as there is a possibility that the deceased or clues will be exposed by melting snow.

Independent parties climbing the route are asked to contact the park service and to take GPS coordinates, elevation, and photos to help identify any clues they may observe, but to not attempt any retrieval due to the high objective hazards in the area.

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