Snowshoer missing on Mount Rainier since Saturday

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Snowshoer missing on Mount Rainier since Saturday

Post by Nobody » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:21 pm

Snowshoer missing on Mount Rainier since Saturday

http://mynorthwest.com/174/610821/Snows ... e-Saturday

ASHFORD, Wash. (AP) - Teams of park rangers, search dogs and volunteers are combing a snowy area of Mount Rainier for the third day in search of a 66-year-old man missing when he slid down a slope and became separated from his snowshoeing party.

Weather conditions prevented a helicopter from joining the search for Yong Chun Kim, of Tacoma, Wash., who last told his group in a patchy radio call at 2:30 p.m. Saturday that he was OK, near a bridge and was on his way out, park spokeswoman Lee Taylor said.

But Kim never made it to the parking lot of the Paradise visitors' center, and a search was launched for him Saturday afternoon.

More than 70 searchers were out Monday focusing on the Stevens Creek drainage, at an elevation of about 5,400 feet, east of the visitors' center, which has been leaving its lights on at night, hoping to serve as a beacon.

Kim, who has been snowshoeing for a decade, was well equipped for a day of snowshoeing but did not have overnight gear. Temperatures dropped into the teens and eight inches of new snow fell in some areas since Saturday, with more snow forecasted in coming days. With winds whipping on the mountain, some areas saw as much as 30 inches of snow.

Kim was leading a group of 16 members of a hiking club on a snowshoe hike in the Paradise area, a popular high-elevation destination on the mountain's southwest flank, about a 100-mile drive south from Seattle.

He was still in contact with other members of his hiking club after his slide but decided not to try to climb back up the slope. "He yelled or gestured he would hook back up" farther down the trail, Taylor said.

"He radioed twice and said he was on his way in," she said.

Because Kim was the leader of his group, other members of his group weren't initially able to accurately describe where he had slipped, Taylor said.

It wasn't until the next day, on Sunday afternoon, when a member of the group accompanied a park ranger and was able to better pinpoint where Kim had fallen. Searchers had initially believed Kim fell in a different area, based on initial descriptions from the group, Taylor said.

Searchers believe Kim fell near the popular Skyline Trail above Paradise. Searchers have focused on the Stevens Creek drainage, also based on tracks discovered late Sunday. The basin leads to Stevens Canyon Road, which is closed for the winter.

Park officials closed the road between Longmire and Paradise again Monday to limit visitor interference in the search and to enable more staff to help with search efforts.

Despite "definitely tough conditions," searchers still hope Kim is alive.

"Obviously as time goes by, the chance diminishes," Taylor said
WINTER IS HERE

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Re: Snowshoer missing on Mount Rainier since Saturday

Post by Nobody » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:26 pm

Very Lucky!
Mount Rainier park official: Snowshoer found alive

ASHFORD, Wash. (AP) - A 66-year-old snowshoer who has been missing on Mount Rainier since Saturday was found alive Monday afternoon by a team of three rescuers, a national park spokeswoman said.

Yong Chun Kim, of Tacoma, Wash., was alert and conscious, and was cold but otherwise in stable condition, park spokeswoman Lee Taylor said. Rescuers were working to bring him out.

Kim was leading a group on a snowshoe hike on the mountain when he slid down a slope and became separated from his party. He radioed to the group twice to say he was OK. But when he failed to meet up with them in the parking lot, a search was launched.

Teams of park rangers, search dogs and volunteers had been combing a snowy area of Mount Rainier for the third straight day on Monday.

Kim, who has been snowshoeing for a decade, was well equipped for a day of snowshoeing but did not have overnight gear. Temperatures dropped into the teens and eight inches of new snow fell in some areas since Saturday, with more snow forecasted in coming days. With winds whipping on the mountain, some areas saw as much as 30 inches of snow.

Kim was leading a group of 16 members of a hiking club on a snowshoe hike in the Paradise area, a popular high-elevation destination on the mountain's southwest flank, about a 100-mile drive south from Seattle.

He was still in contact with other members of his hiking club after his slide but decided not to try to climb back up the slope. "He yelled or gestured he would hook back up" farther down the trail, Taylor said.

"He radioed twice and said he was on his way in," she said.

Because Kim was the leader of his group, other members of his group weren't initially able to accurately describe where he had slipped, Taylor said.

It wasn't until Sunday afternoon that a member of the group was able to better pinpoint where Kim had fallen. Searchers had initially believed Kim fell in a different area, based on initial descriptions from the group, Taylor said.
WINTER IS HERE

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