Updated with more details: Tuesday, 6:15 a.m. | Rescue crews on Mount Rainier discovered a body Monday matching the description of a snowshoer who vanished in a severe storm over the weekend.
The body had been turned over to the Pierce County medical examiner’s office for identification, national park spokeswoman Patti Wold said.
The 37-year-old Puyallup man intended to spend Saturday night at Camp Muir, a stone shelter nearly 10,200 feet up the 14,410-foot volcano. It wasn’t clear if he knew the forecast called for a bad storm, but the formidable conditions forced him to turn back.
Two other people took him into their tent and snow cave at Panorama Point, at 6,800 feet, but the three of them abandoned the camp when one of the walls collapsed. They descended together toward the visitor center at Paradise, about 1,400 vertical-feet below, but the man became separated from the others.
They found him again twice but lost him for good near Edith Creek, which begins close to Panorama Point and flows toward Paradise.
“They don’t know if he intentionally peeled off or what,” Wold said. “He just wasn’t there.”
The pair reported the man missing the next day. Rescuers with the volunteer Nordic Ski Patrol helped conduct a hasty search Sunday, and Monday’s operations included a ground and air search by park climbing rangers, mountain rescue volunteers and the U.S. Army Reserve 214th Air Division.
About 20 inches of snow fell during the storm, leaving more than 5 feet on the ground and high avalanche danger near Paradise.
The missing man was not an experienced snowshoer, Wold said.
Update at 4:15 p.m.: A body matching the description of a snowshoer who went missing in Mount Rainier National Park was located Monday afternoon, according to the National Park Service.
Searchers found the body next to Edith Creek in the Paradise area, spokeswoman Patti Wold said.
The body has been turned over to the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office for identification and determination of cause of death.
The Associated Press
MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK — A search is under way at Mount Rainier National Park for a snowshoer who vanished during a severe storm over the weekend.
The National Park Service says a 37-year-old Puyallup man intended to spend Saturday night at Camp Muir, a stone shelter nearly 10,200 feet up the 14,410-foot volcano. The weather forced him to turn back.
Park spokeswoman Patti Wold says two other people took him into their tent and snow cave at Panorama Point, at 6,800 feet, but their camp was destroyed by the storm and the three of them headed down toward the visitor center at Paradise. The Puyallup man repeatedly became separated from the other two, and the final time they couldn’t find him again.
About 20 inches of snow fell in the storm. Rescuers began a hasty search on Sunday, and Monday’s operations included ground and air crews.