Hiker Dies in Fall Through Mount Rainier (WA) Snow Bridge

Mount Rainier National Park
Photo/Mount Rainier National Park

Via Kevin Bacher, Mount Rainier National Park spokesperson

Rangers and Mountain Rescue volunteers recovered the body of an person who fell through a snow bridge on Tuesday. The individual, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of family, was found at the bottom of a steep drainage under 8 to 10 feet of snow. 

Rangers initially received the report of someone who had fallen through the snow from a hiking companion who called 911 at 4:22 pm. Rangers responded with a hasty team and swiftwater rescue gear, and were able to tentatively spot an unresponsive person sixty feet downslope through a hole in the snow. The terrain was too steep and hazardous to safely conduct a recovery in the dark. 

One Wednesday, thirteen Mountain Rescue Association volunteers and three National Park Service rangers began digging a trench at the base of the slope. At 12:30 pm a ranger in a dry suit descended into the trench and recovered the body from the base of a waterfall fed by snowmelt under the snow. 

Volunteers from Central Washington, Everett, Olympia, and Tacoma Mountain Rescue units assisted with the search and recovery. 

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