Searchers on Mount Rainier haven’t found a 30-year-old man since he fell through a snowbridge into Pebble Creek on July 3.
Officials at Mount Rainier National Park, who didn’t release the man’s name but did say he’s a Washington resident, reported he disappeared while skiing from Camp Muir – a base camp for climbers – to the Paradise recreation area.
He apparently landed in the creek’s rushing water beneath the snow bridge, a natural formation spanning the stream. Officials said another male who was with him but avoided falling used an avalanche probe for two hours in an unsuccessful effort to find the missing man, then finished descending to Paradise and reported the incident.
A ground search organized by park officials was conducted that evening and followed by an aerial search the next morning. Neither produced any sign of the missing skier.
Late-season snow was causing unsafe search conditions, so until conditions improved, searchers planned to monitor the area where the skier disappeared, according to Patti Wold, a park spokeswoman.
As a warning to other mountain users, officials noted that falling through thin snow bridges is a hazard anywhere streams on the mountain are still covered by snow. Climbers, skiers and hikers should listen for the muffled sound of running water under the snow.
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