The body of a man killed in a climbing accident on Mount Rainier has been removed from the crevasse into which he fell, but bad weather has prevented removal from the mountain.
The weather closed in Thursday and it would be too dangerous for climbing parties to try to take the body of guide Don McIntyre down the mountain, said John Kambrink, chief ranger for Mount Rainier National Park.
Park officials were waiting for a helicopter from Fort Lewis with high-altitude capability, but it probably won’t be available until this afternoon because of other missions.
“Weather and equipment permitting, we will try to take the body down Friday afternoon,” Kambrink said. He said the body has been secured at the accident site, away from climbing routes, to prevent any disturbance.
McIntyre, 51, of Reno, Nev., and Joel Koury, 37, of Santa Monica, Calif., fell into the deep crevasse Tuesday. Koury suffered minor injuries.
The climbers, who were roped together, had reached the mountain’s 14,411-foot summit and were making their descent Tuesday afternoon. They had stopped near the lip of a deep crevasse, about 900 feet below the peak, when one of the men tried to clean snow out of his crampons - the spiked traction devices climbers wear on their boots, Kambrink told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Wednesday.
As he worked at the snow with an ice hammer, he tumbled backward and slid into the crevasse, pulling his partner with him, Kambrink said.
Rangers are still trying to piece together the events leading up to the accident and are unsure which climber took the initial fall, Kambrink said.
A helicopter flew Koury to the White River campground on Wednesday.
The route the two men took to the summit, along Liberty Ridge, is much more demanding than the most common route up the mountain, via Camp Muir above Paradise, and usually is attempted earlier in the climbing season, Krambrink said.
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