Bodies Believed To Have Been Spotted Below Liberty Ridge In Mount Rainier National Park

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Mount Rainier rangers believe they've spotted bodies of three climbers killed in an avalanche on Liberty Ridge back in May/NPS file photo of Liberty Ridge area

What appear to be three bodies, thought to be those of climbers killed by an avalanche back in May, have been spotted below Liberty Ridge in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state.

"During recent training flights, what appear to be three bodies were spotted in the location the search for the six missing climbers was focused on earlier this year," park spokeswoman Patti Wold said Wednesday. "The park is exploring methods to recover the bodies in such a way that does not endanger the lives of rescuers."

The six were feared dead from a fall of more than 3,000 feet while on a route that took them along one of the more technical approaches to the summit. The six, four clients and two guides from Alpine Ascents International, began their climb on Monday, May 26, and were due out four days later.

The group's guide had checked in with the company on May 28 by satellite phone. At the time, the party was at 12,800 feet with plans to overnight. Alpine Ascents reported the party missing two days later.

"The location is below Willis Wall at the top of the Carbon Glacier. Rock and ice fall off the steep wall and an increase in new crevasses in the glacier below make this one of the most hazardous locations in the park," Ms. Wold said via email. "The Liberty Ridge climbing route is not currently being climbed due to unstable conditions caused by increased rock and icefall from the warm weather."