Hikers Airlifted Off Rainier

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According to the Seattle Times, Two hikers, a man and a woman, were rescued from Mt. Rainier this morning after spending two nights stranded on the mountain in a severe blizzard. A third hiker, the husband to the rescued woman, died of hypothermia.

The trio, described as experienced mountaineers, set out for a day hike on Rainier on Monday, and reached Camp Muir at 10,000 feet that day. A strong storm blew in while they were descending and as they reached the Muir Snowfield, just a half-mile below the camp. The storm brought 70 mile an hour winds, and large amounts of snow, which they were completely unprepared for, having dressed for a warm spring day. The blizzards prevented a rescue attempt until today, when a helicopter go finally approach the mountain.

The two climbers who were rescued are reportedly suffering from severe frostbite and hypothermia, but are said to be in good condition overall. The names of the three involved have been withheld until the family of the deceased can be notified. While on the mountain, they had to dig a snow cave, and huddled inside, to escape the weather. They also tried calling for help on their cell phone, but were unable to get through due to the storm. Eventually they were able to alert the rangers, but the conditions made a rescue attempt impossible until things improved today.

Lets hope the survivors recover fully, and my condolences to the family and friends of the man lost on the mountain. It’s sad and a bit scary, how dangerous these late spring storms can be.

Thanks Carl for sending this my way. As always, you have some great contributions.

Kraig Becker

4 thoughts on “Hikers Airlifted Off Rainier”

  1. I’m hoping that more details of this story are released. I don’t want to second-guess anyone else’s decisions, especially without knowing the whole story, but I’m curious why they didn’t stay at Camp Muir. If conditions were so bad that they only made it a half mile or so and a few hundred feet down, they would have been much better off where they were. At Muir, they had a permanent structure — it’s not the Hilton, but it’s got a door to keep out the wind. The guides’ hut might have had some food, probably had stoves for boiling water (I’d assume they leave their gear up there year-round), etc. There’s even a toilet. You might have had to smash a lock on the guides’ hut door, but they could bill me for that. I’d certainly rather be there than in a snow cave.

  2. Hi Adventure Junkie,

    I just found your blog…lots of fun. I wanted to send you a link that you might enjoy sharing.


    This guy is always exploring some corner of Alaska.

    Thanks for the fun blog.


  3. Greg: Yeah, things are a bit sketchy at the moment. I’m wondering if the storm wasn’t so bad when they set out, and then it dumped on them later, moving in faster than they had expected, but staying at the shelter would have beaten a snow cave any day.

    Brian: Thanks for the link! I’ll check out the blog. Glad you enjoy this one as well. 🙂

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