The bodies of two climbers have been found on a glacier at Mount Rainier National Park, a month after melting snow uncovered the body of a climber missing since January.
The bodies, that of a woman and a man, were recovered from the Paradise Glacier on Friday, park officials said Saturday. It was presumed the two were part of a party of four climbers who failed to return from an outing in January.
The body of Mark Vucich was found back on August 6 near the climbing route on the Muir Snowfield, about half a mile above Pebble Creek at about 8,000 feet elevation, park spokesman Kevin Bacher said Saturday.
"The bodies recovered yesterday are likely members of the same group of climbers," he added.
Search efforts for the fourth climber were continuing Saturday.
The discovery of the two bodies was made by rangers ferrying supplies to Camp Muir.
"While conducting routine resupply operations to Camp Muir by helicopter, a body was spotted hanging over the edge of a large crevasse on the Paradise Glacier southeast of Anvil Rock," Mr. Bacher said. "In addition, camping and climbing gear could be seen strewn across the bottom of the crevasse. The body was partially buried under about 5 feet of snow and clearly had been in place for some time. The site is about a quarter mile east of the standard climbing route and on the other side of a ridge, at about 8,200 feet elevation."
After the woman's body was recovered Friday, a man's body "was recovered from under the snow nearby. Both individuals were transported by ambulance to the Pierce County Medical Examiner, who will determine their identities and causes of death," the park spokesman said.
Rangers were to return to the area Saturday, "both on foot and by helicopter, to further investigate what appears to be a large campsite buried under the snow on the edge of the crevasse, in hopes of finding clues to explain what happened and, ultimately, lead to the fourth missing climber," said Mr. Bacher.