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nordique
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 8:56 am 
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Seattle Times:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/4-climbers-stranded-on-treacherous-mount-rainier-route-military-helicopter-assisting-in-rescue/

Mt Rainier weather:

https://a.atmos.washington.edu/data/rainier_report.html
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Schenk
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 9:16 am 
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Yes, not a good place to have trouble.  I hope for the best possible outcome and that they all return home safe.

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Nature exists with a stark indifference to humans' situation.
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nordique
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 9:17 am 
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MRNP:

https://www.nps.gov/mora/learn/news/liberty-ridge-sar-6-5-2019.htm

Date: June 5, 2019
Contact: Kevin Bacher, Public Information Officer, 360-569-6701

Rangers at Mount Rainier National Park are attempting to rescue a team of four climbers stranded at 13,500 feet below Liberty Cap, on the north side of Mount Rainier.

On Monday afternoon, June 3, 2019, Mount Rainier National Park’s Communications Center received a report of stranded climbers in need of assistance. The climbers were unable to continue as high winds blew away or destroyed their tent and other climbing equipment. The park helicopter conducted an aerial reconnaissance of the Liberty Ridge route at 4:00 p.m. Monday and found four climbers at the 13,500’ level signaling for help. Unfortunately, gusts to 30 mph made rescue impossible using short-haul techniques. A backup plan to drop equipment to the climbers was thwarted by the same conditions. Supplies were finally dropped 1500 feet below the climbers, where flying and weather conditions permitted, in hopes that they could descend to it.

Tuesday June 4, rangers again attempted to reach the climbers by air. Initial reconnaissance showed that they had descended about two hundred fifty feet to a more sheltered, but still precarious, position. They had not been able to reach the equipment left below them on the mountain. High winds—now blowing 40 mph—again prevented both rescue and delivery of supplies, though rangers were able to see the climbers. A third attempt was made about 1:00 p.m. when winds calmed briefly, but a layer of clouds moved in and hid the camp.

The park reached out to partners in the United States Army to request the assistance of a Chinook helicopter from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). At 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday a Chinook arrived with three Pararescue Jumpers out of the Air Force’s 304th Rescue Squadron in Portland, Oregon, and five members of the 2-135th General Support and Aviation Battalion out of JBLM. They attempted a reconnaissance on their way in, but the site was still too cloudy. By 5:30 p.m. the clouds had cleared enough for a second attempt, and although visibility was adequate, the wind—now a sustained 50 mph with downdrafts—was still too extreme to retrieve the climbers, even for the Chinook.

With inclement weather moving in Tuesday evening, the park’s helicopter retrieved rangers and gear stationed at Camps Muir and Schurman to help with the ongoing rescue. Today’s cloudy, rainy weather has prevented any attempt to reach the climbers by air. The military Chinook and the park’s exclusive-use helicopter were unable to attempt a flight at any point during the day due to cloud cover. Rangers are now preparing multiple rescue contingencies involving both air and ground operations as conditions permit. Unstable weather forecasted for the next several days is expected to continue to limit air operations. The safety of rescue personnel is our highest priority. To assist with keeping rescuers and the public safe, an emergency closure will be issued for the Liberty Ridge route effective at 4:00 p.m. June 5. This closure is expected to continue until rescue operations are complete.

The four climbers began their ascent from White River Campground on Friday, May 31. Their names are Yevgeniy Krasnitskiy of Portland, Oregon; Ruslan Khasbulatov, of Jersey City, New Jersey; Vasily Aushev, of New York, New York; and Kostya “Constantine” Toporov, of New York, New York. At least two are described by family as experienced climbers.

About 25 rangers from Mount Rainier National Park have participated in the rescue each day, in addition to resources from the military, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and the Washington State SAR Planning Unit.

The Liberty Ridge route is one of the more technical and dangerous routes on Mount Rainier, and was the same route where a climbing party was hit by rock fall resulting in one death and two injured climbers last week on May 31, 2019. It is attractive to expert climbers because of its spectacular wilderness scenery and the unique challenges it presents.

Climbing briefs for the four most climbed routes on Mount Rainier can be found on the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/climbing.htm. The briefs describe each route in detail and provide information about how to prepare for them. Climbers should check current conditions and weather forecasts, and be prepared to change or cancel their plans if necessary.

Updates for News Media will be posted, as they happen, on the park’s emergency phone message line at 360-569-2211, extension 9. Photos and videos for this incident may be found at https://www.flickr.com/gp/mountrainiernps/m7N001.
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DarkHelmet
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 11:50 am 
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rescued today

https://www.nps.gov/mora/learn/news/liberty-ridge-sar-6-6-2019.htm


Date: June 6, 2019
Contact: Incident Information, 360-569-6701
Rangers at Mount Rainier National Park successfully rescued four climbers from near the summit of Mount Rainier this morning. The climbers had been stranded on the mountain since Monday. All four are alive but suffering from exposure to the cold. They are being transported by air and ground to local hospitals.

At 9:15 a.m. this morning, the park’s helicopter, conducting aerial reconnaissance during a brief window of good weather, spotted the stranded climbers in the saddle between Liberty Cap and Columbia Crest. The helicopter was able to land, confirm the climbers’ identities, and fly them off the mountain in two groups. All four were off the upper mountain by 10:05 a.m.

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Windstorm
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 11:57 am 
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I'm glad they are off the mountain. I also like this part from the NPS news release.

Quote:
The location where the climbers were found was approximately 1/2 mile from the site where they had last been seen two days ago, and in a place much less affected by wind and more accessible to rescue. The route between the two sites requires expert and technical climbing, and the climbers contributed greatly to their own successful rescue.
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hbb
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 12:23 pm 
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DarkHelmet wrote:
The helicopter was able to land, confirm the climbers’ identities, and fly them off the mountain in two groups.

What's the deal with "confirm the climber's identities?" Seems like a weird response to spotting folks at 13k on a closed route during a SAR operation.
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 12:34 pm 
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No telling if they are another party. Doesn't hurt to check, it didn't stop them from the rescue; so what. They'd feel really bad if they radioed down, the families rejoiced - only to find out it's folks that they didn't even know were up there and were happy to take a ride down.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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nordique
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 1:58 pm 
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4 climbers stranded since Monday rescued from treacherous route on Mount Rainier

PORTLAND — Four climbers on Mount Rainier, stranded for three nights, were rescued Thursday morning by park rangers using a helicopter.

All four climbers are alive but were transported to hospitals because they suffered from exposure to cold.

The climbers were seen near the volcano’s top, between Liberty Cap and the mountain’s summit, Columbia Crest.

The climbers became stranded at 13,500 feet Monday afternoon, below Liberty Cap on the northwest side of the mountain. They had lost some gear, according to park spokesman Kevin Bacher, but had at least one tent and one pack. The group of four had been climbing for three days when they got stuck.

The climbers were identified as Yevgeniy Krasnitskiy, of Portland; Ruslan Khasbulatov, of Jersey City; and Vasily Aushev and Kostya “Constantine” Toporov, of New York.

The Liberty Ridge route is the most challenging route commonly climbed on Mount Rainier, and can be perilous even in good weather. The route gains more than 11,000 feet elevation, typically takes three to four days to complete and is complicated by avalanche terrain, steep snow and ice and crevassed, broken glaciers.

The route requires a rounded skill set for climbers, who need to be familiar with roped travel over glaciated terrain, crevasse rescue, ice climbing and simul climbing, among other advanced techniques.

Poor weather and visibility thwarted rescue attempts earlier this week.

After receiving a report of stranded climbers, a park helicopter flew over the route about 4 p.m. Monday. The climbers signaled for help. The helicopter crew could not rescue them because 30 mph wind gusts prevented them from lowering rescuers on a rope, Bacher said.

The wind also prevented rangers from dropping off equipment to the climbers. The crew instead were dropped off about 1,500 feet below the group, where conditions were better for flying, in hopes the stranded climbers could descend to the gear.

Rangers tried twice Tuesday to reach the climbers, who had descended about 250 feet to a site that was more sheltered but still dangerous. The climbers had not managed to reach the previously dropped supplies. Stiff winds and clouds again hampered several rescue attempts.

Liberty Ridge is known as the “hardest and most dangerous regularly climbed route on Mount Rainier,” according to the National Park Service, which says the route is risky to all climbers, not just the inexperienced. About 98 people attempt the climb each year, with an average success rate of 53%, according to park statistics.

A small percentage of climbers at Mount Rainier take on the route, but it’s known to be deadly. The death of a climber last week was the first fatality on the route since 2014, when two guides and four climbers died after falling more than 3,000 feet, Bacher said.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/four-climbers-stranded-since-monday-rescued-from-mount-rainier/
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MtnGoat
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PostThu Jun 06, 2019 4:21 pm 
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They got four folks off the mountain this morning.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/helicopter-rescues-climbers-from-near-mount-rainier-summit

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Frank
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PostSat Jun 08, 2019 6:47 am 
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After harrowing nights, climber says ‘Don’t mess with Rainier’
Four men, stranded for days on the mountain, were rescued just as they doubted they could continue.

Friday, June 7, 2019 1:49pmNORTHWEST





Associated Press

SEATTLE — One of the climbers stranded for days near the top of Mount Rainier in Washington state told reporters Thursday night, “Don’t mess with Rainier.”

Climber Yevgeniy Krasnitskiy of Portland, Oregon, spoke those words as he described the harrowing conditions his group of four faced after one of them became ill and unexpected winds ripped through their camp Sunday night, causing them to lose some of their gear, The Seattle Times reported.

All four men in their 30s were rescued by helicopter Thursday morning and taken to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center with injuries including altitude sickness and frostbite. All were released Thursday night, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

The climbers called 911 Monday afternoon. But Mount Rainier National Park officials said stormy weather hampered five attempts at a helicopter rescue Monday and Tuesday and that the weather kept helicopters grounded on Wednesday.

It wasn’t until Thursday morning that a park helicopter crew could land and take Krasnitskiy, Vasily Aushev and Kostya “Constantine” Toporov of New York City; and Ruslan Khasbulatov of Jersey City, New Jersey, off the mountain.

The climbers set out last Friday, camping low on the dangerous and technical Liberty Ridge route the first night, but grew concerned about rock fall after a climber recently died at the route’s usual high camp, Krasnitskiy said.

They decided to skip the high camp, planning to spend a night near the summit, and set out Saturday at 10 p.m. — an early alpine start.

The climbers sailed through the high camp, at about 10,500 feet (3,200 meters), but one of the climbers became sick from the altitude, which began to slow them down.

By Sunday evening, the ill climber was exhausted, and they had to make an unplanned camp on steep snow.

A stiff wind, unexpected and strong, shook their camp, and the wind began to rip and break their tent. Krasnitskiy lost his pack, a sleeping bag, a shovel and some food.

“Everyone was hypothermic,” he said. “It was a cold night.”

After calling 911 Monday, they watched as high winds thwarted rangers’ attempts at a helicopter rescue. They drank tea in the morning, ate meager rations of dry food and shared a single bottle of snowmelt each day.

On Tuesday, rock and snowfall littered their tent with debris. An ice ball struck one climber’s eye while he slept. When he woke up, he asked who had hit him, Krasnitskiy said.

The ice fall buried their tent platform and pressed them closer together. It was impossible to descend. On Wednesday, they forged on with their climb.

Krasnitskiy said he thought of all the people who loved him, and he knew they must be worried.

“It really hit me, there are so many people out there thinking about us and have no idea what’s going on with us. We’re here. We’re alive. It’s miserable, but we’re alive,” Krasnitskiy said. As they continued climbing, he said he just kept yelling, “We have to get there.”

On Wednesday night, Krasnitskiy said they slept in a crevasse, which blocked the wind and was surprisingly comfortable.

On Thursday morning, he said their spirits started to sink as they doubted they could continue.

“And then the helicopter arrived,” he said.

As unpleasant as parts of the climb were, Krasnitskiy, a climber for 15 years, said he’d go back.

“Every time I go up a mountain, it teaches me a lesson,” he said.
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philfort
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PostSat Jun 08, 2019 2:32 pm 
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The Mt Rainier Recreational Forecast for last weekend had an ominous warning about high winds moving in Sunday night (I forget the language they used, but remember thinking it was unusual for them to call it out in the forecast discussion like that). I forget if I saw that forecast on Friday, or early Saturday morning, but apparently these guys missed it.

Ah, found something about it in last Sunday's forecast:

Quote:

IMPACTS...Strong winds near the summit will make it difficult to
move safely and could produce local whiteout conditions Sunday
night through Tuesday

I don't see it mentioned in last Saturday's forecast, so it must have been Friday's forecast that mentioned it (which is too old to be in the previous versions on their website: https://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=SEW&product=REC&format=CI&version=1&glossary=0).
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