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Avalanche — Washington, Mount Rainier

AVALANCHE

Washington, Mount Rainier

About 2130 on June 6, 1982, John Davis (41) reported to Ranger Garry Olson at Paradise that he and two other climbers had been involved in a climbing accident on the Fuhrer Finger. Davis’ rope team had attempted to glissade down the Fuhrer Finger at 1700 and, in the process, set off a wet, loose avalanche which carried them 300 meters down the couloir. The rope hung up on some rocks near the bottom of the Fuhrer Finger, stopping their motion. David traveled to Paradise with another climbing party to report the accident. The climbers were rescued by a Chinook helicopter and Rangers Olson, Knox, Ross and Jones. (Source: Rick Kirschner, Ranger, Mount Rainier National Park)

Analysis

Glissading is one of the triggering devices for wet snow. Downclimbing in your old steps—or just making new steps—is recommended. It is not known if these climbers were roped together. In this situation, it would be better not to be. (Source: J. Williamson)