Two rescuers were killed as they tried to reach an injured climber on Mount Rainier early Sunday morning. The injured man was saved by a second crew.
It’s the first time the National Park Service can recall rescuers being killed on Mount Rainier, said communications supervisor Lance Gillispie at Mount Rainier National Park.
The two men, both experienced summer climbing rangers, were trying to reach a 40-year-old California man on Emmons Glacier when they fell about 900 feet on nearby Winthrop Glacier on the north side of the mountain, Gillispie said.
Killed were a 22-year-old man from New York and a 23-year-old man from Minnesota. The park service would not release their names nor their hometowns until their families had been notified.
Other park workers believe the men climbed through the night and may have slipped on an ice crust formed when moisture dropped by waves of clouds froze, Gillispie said.
A second rescue team reached the injured climber and discovered the first rescue team hadn’t made it, the statement said.
Their bodies were found at about 12,000 feet.
The injured climber, John Graver of Santa Cruz, Calif., was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Puyallup. He fractured his ankle Saturday when he fell while descending from the mountain’s summit.