Six Climbers Missing on Mt. Rainier Presumed Dead

U.S. national park officials say that six climbers missing on Mount Rainier in the western U.S. state of Washington are presumed dead after searchers located their equipment in an avalanche prone area.
 
Mount Rainier National Park Ranger Fawn Bauer said Sunday evidence shows that there is not a viable chance of survival.  She said the search was called off late Saturday.

Mount Rainier is seen from the road to Paradise Visitor Center at Mt. Rainier National Park on June 1, 2014. /AP Mount Rainier is seen from the road to Paradise Visitor Center at Mt. Rainier National Park on June 1, 2014. /AP

A helicopter crew that flew over the area Saturday spotted camping and climbing gear about 1,000 meters lower than the group's last known location.  But there was no sign of the climbers.
 
It is believed that the group, including two guides, fell downhill most likely between Wednesday and Friday.
 
At last contact on Wednesday the climbers were 3,900 meters high on the North face of Mount Rainier, known as Liberty Ridge.
 
The names of the climbers will be released after notifications have been sent to their families.

VOA News / Jun. 03, 2014 08:14 KST