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Exposure, Inadequte Equipment, Weather, Frostbite, Inexperience — Washington, Mount Rainier


Washington, Mount Rainier

On June 17, 1984, at 0600 William Glenn (34) and Mark Dulapa (29) were dropped at White River Campground Wye to begin a climb of Liberty Ridge and descend the Disappointment Cleaver Route to Paradise where they were to meet Glenn’s wife. The party was due out on June 19.

They left the White River Campground Wye around 0600 enroute for a camp on the lower Curtis Ridge. They encountered route finding difficulty on the Carbon Glacier and camped on the middle of the Carbon Glacier below Liberty Ridge, their intended route. They stopped and camped around midnight. On June 18, they departed camp around 0800 and climbed to Thumb Rock where they camped. On June 19, they departed Thumb Rock around 0700 in worsening weather. The weather plus the fact that they did not get an early start caused them to not make the climb that day. They camped in a crevasse just below the bergschrund at 4000 meters.

During the next two days the weather was very poor. They did, however, climb a bit higher, to a point just above the bergschrund, where they camped in another crevasse.

On June 22, now three days overdue, they waited to get out of their crevasse until the sun came up and conditions warmed. Shortly after they had moved, we flew in by helicopter and the party was picked up. Glenn suffered frostbite on seven of his toes. (Source: Bundy Phillips, Ranger, Mount Rainier National Park)


The climbers left the campground with a half liter of fuel and possibly a malfunctioning stove. Both wore single leather boots and carried no tent. The weather report for the mountain indicated storm conditions for the time they planned to be on the climb. (Source: Bundy Phillips, Ranger, Mount Rainier National Park)