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Reader photo: Rip, rip, roar goes the avalanche

Nick Sweeney, Kyle Tarry, and Zach Turner witnessed a massive avalanche while climbing Mt Rainier’s Liberty Ridge. (Kyle Tarry / Courtesy)
Nick Sweeney, Kyle Tarry, and Zach Turner witnessed a massive avalanche while climbing Mt Rainier’s Liberty Ridge. (Kyle Tarry / Courtesy)

While climbing ice at more than 12,500 feet, Nick Sweeney and Zach Turner watched as the nearby Willis Wall unleashed a massive avalanche onto the Carbon Glacier. Climber Kyle Tarry snapped the photo.

“Thankfully our safe position on the ridge gave us a front row seat to the carnage below,” Sweeney wrote in a message.

The trio climbed Mt. Rainier’s Liberty Ridge between May 26 and 28. Liberty Ridge is a notorious route, considered one of the 50 classic climbs in North America, and it’s significantly more difficult than other routes up Washington’s highest peak. According to Sweeney, less than 2 percent of Mt. Rainier climbers attempt this route. Of those who do, the success rate fluctuates between 30 and 60 percent depending on the year and conditions.

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