Two climbers were rescued Sunday morning after spending two nights in stormy conditions near the summit of Mount Rainier, park officials said Monday morning.
The climbers were overtaken by extreme weather while descending from the 14,411-foot summit and dug a snow cave to wait out the weather. Their cave was at about 14,300 feet. Twice Friday, the climbers sent distress signals using their personal locator beacon, but conditions delayed rescuers until Sunday morning. When the weather cleared, a search helicopter was dispatched.
The climbers were airlifted from Disappointment Clever, about 13,500 feet, said park spokeswoman Patti Wold. A statement released by the park said, “In spite of spending two nights in single digit temperatures the climbers were ambulatory and in stable condition.”
Tacoma, Seattle Everett and Olympic mountain rescue units helped with the search. Army Reserve B Company of the 1-214th Air Battalion supported incident operations.
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The climbers were on the most used route for summiting the mountain. They were not affiliated with any of the three guide services, Wold said.