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Rockfall on Mount Rainier Kills One Climber, Injures Two

One climber was killed and two were injured when a rockfall occurred on Mount Rainier. Three other climbers were also caught in the rockfall, but weren’t injured. Mount Rainier National Park spokesman Kevin Bacher said the injured climbers were evacuated in a helicopter.

A climber on Liberty Ridge phoned rescue after witnessing the rock sweep through a spot where three parties of two were bivied. Twenty-four rangers from Rainier National Park were involved in the rescue and recovery. The climbers’ identities haven’t been released.

One climber, a 37-year-old man, was badly injured and is in intensive care at Harborview, University of Washington Medical Center. The climbers were hoping to reach the summit by the end of this week. Over 10,000 people attempt to summit the peak every year with around 5,000 making the top. Five years ago this week, six climbers died on the mountain around same area after falling from Liberty Ridge.

Mount Rainier is an active volcano located 95 km southeast of Seattle in the Mount Rainier National Park. With an elevation of 4,392 m, it is the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range.

In 1979, Willi Unsoeld who reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1963, was killed in an avalanche on Mount Rainier after having climbed it over 200 times.

It is considered a dangerous volcano and has large glaicers. The rock and ice is often unstable, creating potentially dangerous situations.