- Four hikers were rescued after being stranded on Washington’s Mount Rainier since Monday.
- High winds have made the rescue mission difficult to execute.
- The group of hikers began their hike on Friday, but weather conditions destroyed their camping equipment, including tents.
- The group was found signalling for help at 13,500 feet on the North Side of the mountain below Liberty Cap.
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Rangers rescued a group of four hikers stranded on Washington state’s Mount Rainier, the National Park Service said in a press release.
The group encountered complications on their trek, as strong winds blew away their tents and other hiking equipment, leaving them effectively stranded on the mountain’s Liberty Ridge route on Monday, the Park Service said.
Rangers first attempted to rescue the group on Monday afternoon, spotting them signalling for help at about 13,500 feet on the North Side of the mountain below Liberty Cap. However, due to 30 mile per hour winds, the rangers were unable to execute an aerial helicopter rescue.
They were also unable to drop supplies to the climbers at that level due to the high winds. Instead, rescuers dropped supplies about 1,500 feet below where weather conditions were less severe in hopes that the group would be able to reach them.
On Tuesday rangers again attempted to rescue the climbers or drop supplies, but inclement weather prevented them from doing so.
The daily rescue efforts have been made by about 25 rangers from Mount Rainier National Park with additional assistance from the military, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and the Washington State SAR Planning Unit.
“Unstable weather forecasted for the next several days is expected to continue to limit air operations,” the press release said. “The safety of rescue personnel is our highest priority.”
The group began their climb on Friday from White River Campground. The climbers have been identified by the Parks Service as Yevgeniy Krasnitskiy of Portland, Oregon; Ruslan Khasbulatov, of Jersey City, New Jersey; Vasily Aushev, of New York, New York; and Kostya “Constantine” Toporov, of New York, New York. At least two of the four have been described as “experienced climbers” by family members.
On Thursday, the Mount Ranier National Parks Service was able to air lift the climbers off the mountain during a brief period of good weather. All four were off of the mountain by 10:15 am, according to the parks service.
According to a press release from the Parks Service, Liberty Ridge is “more technical and dangerous routes” but “it is attractive to expert climbers because of its spectacular wilderness scenery and the unique challenges it presents.”
Last Friday, a separate party encountered danger on the route. One person was killed and two others were injured by a rock fall on the trail, according to the press release.
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