Mount Rainier climbers presumed dead

Six climbers are presumed to be dead after falling about 3,300 feet on Mount Rainier.
By Danielle Haynes   |   June 1, 2014 at 4:21 PM   |   Comments

SEATTLE, June 1 (UPI) -- Six climbers are presumed to have died from a fall after their tents and other personal items were found about 3,300 feet below where they were hiking, officials said.

The climbers -- two guides and four clients -- were last heard from Wednesday when they were about 12,800 feet up the mountain.

They were supposed to return by Friday and when they didn't climbing rangers and helicopters were dispatched to search for the climbers.

Searchers found their tents and clothes mixed among ice and rock at about 9,500 feet at the Carbon Glacier, the National Park Service said.

"There is no certainty that recovery is possible," the Park Service said in a statement.

The service said there were no plans to put searchers on the ground at the site because it is perilous and prone to dangerous slides. The site will be checked regularly by aircraft.

Only the group's lead climber, Matt Hegeman, was identified. The identities of the other five climbers were being withheld until their families could be notified.

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