Bodies of 2 Californians Airlifted From Mt. Rainier
A powerful helicopter Friday snagged the roped bodies of two California men and a third climber who fell to their deaths on Mt. Rainier.
The helicopter retrieved the bodies after a climbing team determined that it was too dangerous to attempt recovery on foot, said Cy Hentges, spokesman for Mt. Rainier National Park.
The dead were identified as David R. Kellokoski, 30, of Tahoe Paradise, Calif., Greg Remmick, 32, of Citrus Heights, Calif., and Craig Adkison, 37, of Kirkland, Wash. All three were experienced climbers.
The three had been the objects of a search since they were reported overdue on Saturday from an ascent that began May 9 on the dangerous Liberty Ridge route up the north face of 14,410-foot Mt. Rainier.
The bodies were first spotted Thursday by searchers in an Army Chinook helicopter. Hentges said members of a recovery team flown Friday to a point near where the bodies lay could not determine for certain whether they had been swept off the ridge by an avalanche.
“They could have fallen, been blown off the ridge or swept over by an avalanche,” he said. Officials estimate the climbers fell about 2,000 feet from Liberty Ridge.
The bodies were found on a steep slope at the 10,000-foot elevation.