Hikers stranded near Mount Rainier summit rescued
Park rangers successfully rescued four climbers who were stranded near the summit of Mount Rainier National Park since Monday.
The four climbers are suffering from exposure to the cold, the National Park Service said. They were transported on Thursday to local hospitals for treatment.
Officials identified the men as Yevgeniy Krasnitskiy of Portland, Oregon; Ruslan Khasbulatov of Jersey City, New Jersey; Vasily Aushev of New York; and Kostya “Constantine” Toporov of New York.
The climbers began their ascent of Mount Rainier on Friday from White River campground but stumbled upon trouble due to high winds, which destroyed their tents and other equipment, the National Park Service said.
The park’s communications center received a 911 call on Monday saying they were stranded at 13,500 feet near the top of the Liberty Ridge climbing route.
The climbers were rescued about a half-mile from where they were last seen two days ago, where it was less windy and more accessible to rescue, the National Park Service said.
“The route between the two sites requires expert and technical climbing, and the climbers contributed greatly to their own successful rescue,” the National Park Service said.
Rangers were unable to retrieve the men for days because windy conditions and poor visibility prevented crews from getting to them or dropping off supplies. As many as 33 people worked on this rescue mission.
Officials closed Liberty Ridge in the interest of public safety until the rescue mission was completed.
“Liberty Ridge route is one of the more technical and dangerous routes on Mount Rainier and was the same route where a climbing party was hit by rock fall resulting in one death and two injured climbers last week,” the park said.
Located in west-central Washington state, Mount Rainier is about 85 miles from Seattle and rises to 14,410 feet above sea level.