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Day Hikers Rescued From Below Camp Muir

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avatar Day Hikers Rescued From Below Camp Muir
April 22, 2010 08:25PM
Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Day Hikers Rescued From Below Camp Muir

On the evening of April 17th, rangers were notified of two overdue hikers, one with a possible injury, somewhere on the Muir Snowfield. The pair were part of a larger day hiking group that had split up as weather deteriorated during their return from Camp Muir. None were prepared to spend the night out. What started out as a relatively mild day had turned into whiteout conditions. Rangers determined, however, that the weather was forecast to improve during the late evening. Climbing rangers Philippe Wheelock and Kevin Hammonds were mobilized at approximately 11 p.m. and directed to begin a hasty search. After failing to locate the two hikers, they regrouped at Camp Muir at 4 a.m. and with increasing daylight renewed the search. They located the hikers at approximately 8,800 feet on the western edge of Paradise Glacier at 6 a.m. The two women were conscious and in good spirits despite a forced open bivouac, though one had suffered a lower leg injury. Hammonds and Wheelock re-warmed them, packaged the injured woman, then evacuated both with the assistance of rangers Stefan Lofgren, who served as incident commander, and Sarah Pigeon. The group reached Paradise around 11 a.m. Two years earlier, in a similar situation during the month of June, a day hiker succumbed to hypothermia as his party attempted to return from Camp Muir to Paradise in blizzard conditions.
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