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January 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Missing snowshoer found alive on Mt. Rainier

A snowshoer missing since Saturday on Mt. Rainier has been found alive, a National Park Service spokeswoman said.

A team of rescuers located Yong Chun Kim, 66, of Tacoma, at about 2 p.m. in the Stevens Creek drainage just east of Mazama Ridge, said spokeswoman Lee Taylor.  Kim appears to be in stable condition, conscious and able to to walk.

“It’s unbelievable,” Taylor said. “By the third day with these kind of weather conitions, most of us feared the worst.” Taylor said it has been snowing steadily with night-time temperatures in the teens. The wind had died down Monday, but she said there were gusts up to 50 miles per hour on Saturday when Kim disappeared.

“Finding him was very, very difficult. Any tracks were obliterated by the winds and falling snow,” Taylor said.

Searchers are now figuring out how to evacuate Kim from the remote location where he was found, Taylor said.  Rescuers will travel the closed Stevens Canyon road by Snowcat and then ascend the drainage to Kim on snowshoes.  They will help him onto a litter and carry him back to the road.  Taylor said she didn’t expect the rescue to be completed until after dark.

Kim got separated from his group  after sliding down a slope, according to the Associated Press. He told the others he would rejoin them at the park’s visitor center but didn’t make it out, leading to a search that included 90 people Monday, Taylor said.

Kim, an experienced snowshoer, apparently made it through two nights of severe winter conditions without any overnight gear, Taylor said. His wife, son and daughter-in-law waited for word at Paradise.

“As time went by, they grew increasingly anxious. Like us, they started to fear the worst. It was an incredible relief for them when he was found alive.”

 

 

Comments | Topics: missing, Mt. Rainier, snowshoer

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