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#240133 - 01/26/12 07:01 PM Mt Rainier, again
hikermor Offline
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Registered: 08/26/06
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Loc: southern Cal
I believe this incident has been alluded to briefly in other threads. It doesn't look good for the four who are missing; they are evidently well equipped and experienced

Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Search For Four Missing People Scaled Back

On Monday, the seventh day of the search for four people in two missing parties on Mountain Rainier, the mountain came out of the clouds for the first time, providing perfect weather for extensive air and ground operations. In spite of a major search effort, the parties were not located. With the return of winter weather and the odds of a favorable outcome declining daily, operations are being scaled back and will transition back to the park today. Investigators will continue to work on an in-depth investigation, and operations are shifting to an extended limited continuous search. Family liaisons worked with four separate families throughout the week. The consulate provided translators to assist in overcoming language barriers with family from Korea. Ninety-one people were assigned to the search over the course of the incident, which was managed by the Western Incident Management Team (Denny Ziemann IC). The team took over management of the search on January 21st, providing assistance to a park staff depleted by the impacts of the tragic shooting of Ranger Margaret Anderson.
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#240144 - 01/26/12 10:16 PM Re: Mt Rainier, again [Re: hikermor]
Hikin_Jim Offline
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Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
That's typically not a good sign when they scale back a search. They never say it publicly, but it implies that they don't think the chances of survival are all that good.

Kyrie Eleison,

HJ
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#240153 - 01/27/12 12:10 AM Re: Mt Rainier, again [Re: Hikin_Jim]
Roarmeister Offline
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Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 898
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Don't they generally say that the first 72 hours are critical? After that the chances of survival drop off significantly.

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#240156 - 01/27/12 12:17 AM Re: Mt Rainier, again [Re: Roarmeister]
Russ Offline
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Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5030
Loc: SOCAL
Ya but, I thought these four were supposedly prepared for camping in relatively cold conditions. What changed?

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#240158 - 01/27/12 12:41 AM Re: Mt Rainier, again [Re: Russ]
hikermor Offline
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Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6745
Loc: southern Cal
They have been out well past their expected return time and are probably out of fuel and food,especially since they were not seen during the recent spell of good weather.
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#240159 - 01/27/12 01:06 AM Re: Mt Rainier, again [Re: hikermor]
Hikin_Jim Offline
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Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: hikermor
...they were not seen during the recent spell of good weather.
Uh, oh. That is not a good sign.

HJ
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#240161 - 01/27/12 01:13 AM Re: Mt Rainier, again [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
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Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5030
Loc: SOCAL
I'm missing details on this incident. Is there more than what is in the OP of this thread?

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#240162 - 01/27/12 01:25 AM Re: Mt Rainier, again [Re: Russ]
hikermor Offline
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Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6745
Loc: southern Cal
here is the report from 24 Jan:

Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Search Continues For Overdue Parties On Mount Rainier

The search for four people in two parties continues on Mount Rainier. On Sunday, a small improvement in the week's severe weather allowed ground teams to conduct visual searches of terrain previously obscured by weather. A US Army Reserve Chinook attempted to join the effort but had to turn back due to limited visibility. The helicopter remains on standby at Joint Base Lewis McChord. No sign of the missing parties has been detected to date. Over the last week, ground teams have encountered 30 to 60+ mph winds, whiteout conditions, ice crusted snow, and snow depths from 10 to 15 feet with drifts up to 50 feet. The two teams were due back on January 15th and 16th. The search effort will continue today, depending on weather and avalanche conditions. In the event a weather window materializes, the Chinook and a Washington State Patrol airplane are prepared to respond. The weather forecast calls for snow, 5 to 10 degree temperatures, and winds up to 65 mph through today. The Western Incident Management Team (Denny Ziemann IC) is managing to the incident. Mount Rainier and Denali climbing rangers, personnel from Pacific West, Intermountain and Alaska Regions, guides from Rainier Mountaineering Incorporated and International Mountain Guides, and Olympic, Tacoma, Everett and Seattle Mountain Rescue are contributing to search operations.

I will look for the initial report.
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#240164 - 01/27/12 01:32 AM Re: Mt Rainier, again [Re: hikermor]
hikermor Offline
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Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6745
Loc: southern Cal
Situation of 19 Jan:

Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Major Search Underway For Two Missing Parties

Search efforts are underway for two parties overdue from a weekend trips on Mount Rainier. A party of two planning to winter camp on the Muir Snowfield over the weekend was due out on Sunday, January 15th; a second party of two climbers on a summit attempt via the Disappointment Cleaver route was due back on Monday, January 16th. Western Washington was hit by a storm over the weekend, followed by a severe winter storm through mid-week, forcing a delay in the field search. Both parties were outfitted for winter weather with the exception of snowshoes or skis. Due to the weather conditions, it is expected that they are waiting out the storms before attempting to descend to Paradise. Visitors to the upper mountain are advised to stop moving, dig in and wait for better weather during severe weather and whiteout conditions. On Tuesday, a search team of two skied the route above Paradise to Panorama Point to assess conditions in the area and to look for signs of the two overdue parties. Travel was extremely difficult, with team members sinking two to three feet into the snow. Visibility was limited, winds were gusting up to 100 mph, and their tracks filled in behind them as they negotiated the deep snow. Yesterday, a team of ten searched from Paradise up the Muir Snowfield to Camp Muir without locating either of the parties. Eight of the team members skied back down to Paradise, searching along the way. There may be a short weather window this morning for the two searchers remaining at Camp Muir to search under better conditions before the next storm arrives midday. A helicopter is on standby at Joint Base Lewis-McChord awaiting favorable flight conditions, although freezing rain precluded flight operations on Thursday. The weather is the greatest challenge to search efforts at this time. Both a winter storm watch and a moderate level avalanche warning were issued for the area. The search team is made up of highly skilled mountaineers who are familiar with the route and in mitigating associated avalanche exposure. The team is composed of Mount Rainier climbing rangers and park staff and members of Everett Mountain Rescue, Seattle Mountain Rescue, International Mountain Guides and Rainier Mountaineering Incorporated. Kelly Bush from North Cascades NP is IC. Although both parties are equipped for winter camping, concern for their wellbeing grows each day. The Western Incident Management Team is en route to assist with the incident. For information on weather conditions visit the park Weather webpage at http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/weather.htm.
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#240165 - 01/27/12 01:35 AM Re: Mt Rainier, again [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
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Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5030
Loc: SOCAL
Got it -- ugly weather and 10 days overdue.

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