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Helicopter used to recover bodies of Mount Rainier climbers

MOUNTAINEERING — A helicopter crew using a grabber device on a long cable were able to recover the bodies of three Mount Rainier climbers today from a dangerous slope below the Willis Wall.

The climbers died in a fall while attempting a difficult and dangerous route up Liberty Ridge in May. Their bodies were detected during a training flight this week in the debris field on the Carbon Glacier.

See the report from KOMO TV.

Global warming new factor in mountaineering safety

MOUNTAINEERING — Safely below the snowline, I was hiking in the Alps near Chamonix, France, last week when 9 climbers were killed by an avalanche on Mont Blanc, the highest peak in western Europe.  It was particularly eery for me and my family, since we had just shared a train ride with a South Africa couple who had just climbed the peak — and we had shared breakfast on a previous day with a man who was headed up to climb.

The tragedy in bringing international attention to what appear to be increasing danger and unpredictibility in snow-country climbing and backcountry skiing. 

Following the tragedy in the Alps as well as another on Mount McKinley, the New York Times has published this report citing veteran climbers pointing out that today’s conditions are combining to create a volatile highball of risk.

Climbing ranger dies during rescue on Rainier

MOUNTAINEERING — Sad news from Mount Rainier National Park as a ranger attempting a rescue fell 3,000 feet to his death on Thursday.

See the story here.