Washington, Mt. Rainier National Park—On July 30, a party of 15 Tacoma Mountaineers under the leadership of Stan Engle were camped at Steamboat Prow in preparation for a scheduled experience climb of
Mount Rainier via the Emmons Route, the following day. A continual downpour of rain and high winds throughout the night forced them, however, to abandon the summit attempt. After breakfast it cleared somewhat, and they decided to go out and do a little glacier work and take pictures.
Charles Doan, an experienced man, was leading one rope team comprised of Earl Doan and Alan Van Buskirk. He was being belayed by the second man, who in turn was anchored by the third, as he climbed up an arm of snow that afforded a better view of the crevasse. Suddenly he saw the snow start to crack behind him. He called a warning to his companions, turned and jumped back. His weight and jump onto the remaining portion of the overhang caused it to collapse also, and Doan fell 20 to 25 feet to the fill-in below.
His left leg was pinned by the falling ice and snow, and he could not free himself. Help was summoned from other members of the party. A man was lowered into the crevasse and chopped Doan free of the snow and ice. Both men climbed out, using the Bilgiri technique. The rescue took about 45 minutes.
Mr. Doan’s injuries were bone and muscle bruises on the left leg and left shoulder. He was able to walk out unaided.