Snowshoer Found Dead at Mount Rainier National Park

Forced down the mountain during severe storm

Dec 30, 2014
Outside Magazine
snowshoeing mount rainier death

The man, not an experienced snowshoer, got separated from a group of people with whom he was attempting to descend during a storm.    JBLM PAO/Flickr

Rescue searchers in Mount Rainier National Park found the unresponsive body of a missing snowshoer on Monday. The man, 37, from Puyallup, Washington, had been missing since Saturday.

Park spokesperson Patti Wold told National Parks Traveler that the man set out on Saturday and became caught in a winter storm that dumped 20 inches of snow on the area in two days. He apparently tried to wait out the storm overnight in Camp Muir, a shelter area for climbers about 10,200 feet up the mountain, but was forced down by the weather.

According to the park’s statement, the man met up with two other people at Panorama Point on his way down the mountain, and they took him into their tent. After one of the tent walls collapsed in the storm, the group attempted to descend to the visitor center at Paradise, 19 miles east of the park’s Nisqually Entrance. As they neared Edith Creek, the man became separated from the others.

“They don’t know if he intentionally peeled off or what,” Wold told the Seattle Times. “He just wasn’t there.” She also said the man was not an experienced snowshoer.

Nordic Patrol and Tacoma, Everett, Seattle, and Olympic Mountain Rescues searched for the man on the ground while the U.S. Army Reserve 214th Air Division and park climbing rangers searched avalanche-prone areas from the air. The man’s body was found next to Edith Creek.

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