Officials at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state fear that six climbers are dead after receiving a distress signal thousands of feet below their last known location. The people feared dead were experienced climbers.
The team set out on Monday and had planned to reach Mount Rainier’s 14,409-foot peak on Thursday. But according to a since deleted blog post on Alpine Ascents International’s Mount Rainier blog, the team turned back at around 13,000 feet, citing bad weather.
The team’s distress signal occurred in an avalanche-prone area known as Liberty Ridge. The ridge sits at 12,800 feet, and a helicopter crew located debris from camping gear in the area. The team would have fallen about 3,300 feet to their deaths if swept off the ridge by an avalanche.