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6 climbers dead on Mount Rainier
Seattle Times, by Coral Garnick*

Original Article

Posted By:NorthernDog, 6/1/2014 9:54:15 AM

Six climbers were killed in a 3,300-foot fall along the steep north slope of Mount Rainier, officials said Saturday, in the worst disaster on the mountain in more than three decades. Searchers found tents and clothes, mixed with rock and ice, in a debris field along the Carbon Glacier at 9,500 feet, according to the National Park Service. The group’s climbing route, to Liberty Peak, is prone to slides and among the more advanced on the mountain. Such a fall leaves no real chance of survival, and the location is so perilous, the Park Service said in a statement, “there

Comments:
*MIKE LINDBLOM AND HAL BERNTON. With Craig Welch, Colleen Wright, and Hal Bernton.
Mt Rainier takes no prisoners.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: cjjeepercreeper, 6/1/2014 10:14:50 AM     (No. 9869208)

Same bunch that lost 5 Sherpas on Everest a few weeks ago. Not exactly good advertising for the safety of hiring this company. I know, bad luck and all, but not exactly the kind of news you put on your website.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: motorcycleboy, 6/1/2014 10:16:45 AM     (No. 9869210)

Global warming caused the ice to melt from underneath them!

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Reply 3 - Posted by: SoCalGal, 6/1/2014 10:40:56 AM     (No. 9869239)

If you look at photo #2, you´ll note that that "slope" is nearly vertical. Looking at that whole side of the mountain on the news last night we were amazed that anyone would try it.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: ron_lfp, 6/1/2014 11:18:04 AM     (No. 9869281)

At this point we know nothing except that they slid and died.

A climb like Liberty Ridge is high in what we call "objective danger." That rock or snow from above comes down on you, no matter how experienced you are. All you can do about it is avoid being in that spot (at that time). But in climbing Liberty Ridge climbers are in such spots all the time for much of the climb. It is very steep. But, despite the second photo, it is a ridge, which reduces the danger of rock and snow fall.

An error by one climber would never take out six people.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: earlybird, 6/1/2014 12:17:11 PM     (No. 9869322)

#4 seems to be one of those rare birds who actually knows something about the subject of the post. I hope they come back and tell us more, especially about their opinion that a fail by one climber would not have taken out the others.

I know absolutely nothing about this except that I lived in Seattle for a time and knew of the respect the locals had for Mount Rainier. And also knew that with my fear of heights, no one would ever find me attempting to climb even its lowest parts.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Topic Thunder, 6/1/2014 12:40:25 PM     (No. 9869336)

Every stinking year this monster eats climbers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You´d think they´d learn - but Nooooo!

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Reply 7 - Posted by: BigGeorgeTX, 6/1/2014 12:48:19 PM     (No. 9869343)

Let´s face it. If there weren´t the tangible risk of death making these climbs, the site´s attractiveness to adventurers would be greatly diminished. Extreme sports are called extreme sports because of the danger factor.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: frede, 6/1/2014 1:12:19 PM     (No. 9869359)

I´ll bet that some of these macho idiots even had college degrees.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Hazymac, 6/1/2014 1:38:46 PM     (No. 9869377)

Rainier´s challenging north route is the steepest and most dangerous, which is why advanced climbers are attracted to it. Halfway around the world from Rainier are the greatest Himalayan challenges: K2 (any route), Annapurna (South Face, nearly vertical, rarely attempted), Dhaulagiri (South Face, nearly vertical, still unconquered), Lhotse (South Face, nearly vertical, climbed once). These huge ice and snow covered faces require the greatest rock climbing skills, as well as luck. On Dhaulagiri´s huge 15,000 foot high vertical and concave South Face, huge avalanches sweep downward daily. Even climbers anchored to the rock get swept away.

The first man to conquer all 14 eight thousanders, Reinhold Messner of the Tyrolean Alps, attempted Dhaulagiri´s South Face, and had to abandon his climb when he barely escaped a huge avalanche. It´s just not worth it, he concluded. Affixed in my memory is a picture of him just below the summit ridge of Annapurna, working his way up an 85 degree ice-covered slope with nothing but air and goodbye forever below him. I get acrophobia just looking at the picture. His advice for climbers: don´t fall off! (If you do, you will fall two miles there and three miles on Dhaulagiri. Your body will never be found.) Mountain climbing, especially at highest altitudes, is probably the most dangerous sport of all. I admire those with enough courage to do it. The Rainier climbers probably just ran out of luck. May the Lord bless their souls.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Ichiban, 6/1/2014 2:02:23 PM     (No. 9869400)

I blame the NRA! When will the killing stop! /s

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Screwgun, 6/1/2014 4:10:30 PM     (No. 9869486)

The paved trails above the parking lot at Sunrise were as far as I went on Rainier. I thought I was Mr. Rugged Outdoorsman until a young lady with muscular calves jogged past me pushing a baby carriage.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: TXknitter, 6/1/2014 4:25:46 PM     (No. 9869498)

We do the Paradise to Panorama Point hike every August (IF weather permits.). It is a plenty tough alpine hike for me. It can be tricky enough even that high because of the slippery, snowy, icy, narrow and steep trails! I certainly feel for the families of some of these folks who just aren´t happy unless they push, push, push that envelope.

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B-G1


 
Reply 13 - Posted by: Grambo, 6/1/2014 7:56:18 PM     (No. 9869617)

I can claim ownership to a long period of life spent on fierce mountain faces, Rainier Liberty included.

Allow me to add a simple note to those who don’t climb mountains.

There are two types of danger mountaineers face: technical difficulty, that is, hard upward moves, and objective hazard, that is, stuff falling on you. Some climbs can be described as climbing in an artillery range. Of those, successful ascent can mean that you lucked out by not being hit, not that you displayed great technical and athletic prowess. The north face of the Eiger (with qualifications) and the Kumbu icefall are examples of artillery ranges.

To those who disparage the climbers on Rainier’s Liberty Ridge, I say, where do you draw the line on the spirit of adventure? They chose a climb that defeated them by elements out of their control. Does that make them fools? I don’t think so. The climb they chose would have impossible to those without superb skill. But the artillery range won.

All that said, none of this will make sense to a condo dweller, and hence we have some of the comments submitted here.

Hopefully, some of these posters (no offense, really, intended) will be able to appreiate the adventurous spirit of this point of view.

After all, we aren´t asking anything from you.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: PI65, 6/1/2014 9:05:04 PM     (No. 9869658)

Amen #13. I might add that without the spirit that you described, this great country of ours would not have come to be. It takes that kind of sprit to really make things happen.

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