Joe Puryear, a former Mount Rainier National Park climbing ranger, died Tuesday (Tacoma time) in a climbing accident on 24,170-foot Labuche Kang in a remote region of Tibet.
Mike Gauthier, the former supervisory climbing ranger at the park, learned this morning that Puryear apparently fell 1,500 feet after breaking through a cornice while ascending the peak.
He was climbing with David Gottlieb, the park’s lead climbing ranger, when the accident occurred.
Gauthier said Gottlieb did not see the incident. Apparently Gottlieb ascended to the top of a ridgeline only to find Puryear’s tracks leading to a broken ledge. Gottlieb climbed …