The bodies of six climbers are still yet to be recovered after falling 3,300 feet on Mount Rainer. A very unfortunate event that we are seeing more often. It is still early in the season, as we saw with the tragedy on Everest where 11 Sherpas were killed, that does not mean it is any safer. Dix rescue beacons were detected at the base of a 3,300 foot face, authorities are skeptical if the bodies will ever be recovered.
The four climbers and two guides were attempting Liberty Ridge, said by some to be the toughest and deadliest way up the mountain. Since 1897 at least 89 people have died on Rainer, the fifth-tallest mountain in the lower 48. Averaging one climber a year.
This accident is a reminded that experience is not always enough to save your life. Those climbers knew that, which is part of the reason why they chose to climb that mountain. Too many people see climbers as narcissist, this is not true. People that pay 15,000 or more to be hauled up Everest are narcissist. These climbers are afraid to die, they risk the lives of underpaid, underappreciated Sherpas to fix 20,000 feet of rope and create a “yellow brick road” to the top. That is text book narcissism. Read “Forget Me Not” by Jennifer Lowe-Anker, it will put true mountaineering and true love into perspective.
Stay safe out there people.