Wildflower meadow at Paradise with a view of the Tatoosh Range. Photo courtesy National Park Service

Snowshoer missing overnight rescued near Paradise | Mount Rainier National Park

More than 33 people were assigned to find the hiker.

  • Thursday, November 12, 2020 10:15am
  • News

The following is a press release from Mount Rainier National Park:

On Sunday, Nov. 8, a snowshoer who had been missing overnight was located and rescued from the Nisqually River drainage below Paradise. The snowshoer was last seen on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 1:45 p.m., when he and his partner separated below the Muir Snowfield at an elevation of 9,500’.

The missing party intended to descend on snowshoes to Paradise, while his partner continued on skis to Camp Muir. When he did not return to the Paradise parking lot, his partner reported him missing to park rangers. Three National Park Service (NPS) teams conducted an initial search for the missing snowshoer until early morning in winter conditions that minimized visibility. The overnight low at Paradise dropped to 16 degrees Fahrenheit with five inches of new snow.

NPS search managers and Mount Rescue Association ground teams began searching again on Sunday morning. Clouds prevented launching air operations until afternoon when a contract helicopter from Hi Line Helicopters with park rangers aboard joined the search. The helicopter team located the snowshoer in the Nisqually River drainage on the west side of the river a mile upstream from Glacier Bridge. Ground teams reached the snowshoer an hour later. Searchers worked to warm him while a helicopter from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island responded. The military Seahawk helicopter hoisted and transported the patient directly to Harborview Medical Center.

Mountain Rescue Association units from Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympic, Volcano Rescue Team, and Mount Rainier Nordic Patrol conducted ground search efforts. The Washington State Search and Rescue Planning Unit worked with park command staff on incident planning. Hi Line Helicopters with Mount Rainier park rangers, and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island provided aviation resources. Thirty-three people were assigned to the incident.

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