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Six Mount Rainier Climbers Presumed Dead After Fall From Ridge

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Mount Rainier National Park
Area of Mount Rainier National Park where the six climbers, including two professional guides, are believed dead from a fall of 3,300 feet. A Chinook helicopter can be seen above the ridge in the center-left of the sky. Source: Mount Rainier National Park Service via Bloomberg

June 1 (Bloomberg) -- Six climbers, including two professional guides, are believed dead from a fall of 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) on Mount Rainier in Washington, the U.S. National Park Service reported.

Searchers saw climbing gear and detected signals from avalanche beacons on the mountain’s 9,000-foot-high Carbon Glacier, indicating a plunge with “no viable change of survival,” Patti Wold, a park service spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement today.

The group’s last known location was along Liberty Ridge, among the more technical and advanced routes to the summit, at 12,800 feet. Alpine Ascents International, the Seattle-based arranger of the expedition, reported the climbers missing at 4:30 p.m. Friday local time.

“There are no plans to put people on the ground at this site because of the ongoing hazards,” Wold said. “There is no certainty that recovery is possible.”

Names of the six were withheld pending notification of relatives, she said.

“This accident represents a horrific loss,” Park Superintendent Randy King said in the statement. “The climbing community is a small one and a close one and a loss of this magnitude touches many.”

More than 400 people had died on the mountain before this week, including 89 on summit climbs, according to the park service.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Polson in New York at jpolson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sylvia Wier at swier@bloomberg.net Bruce Rule, Jeff Sutherland

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