Mount Rainier National Park rangers recover body of Black Diamond man from South Mowich River

Rangers at Mount Rainier National Park recovered the body of a Black Diamond man from the South Mowich River, Aug. 19.

According to a press release, Craig Goodwin, 74, was reported missing by family when he did not return as expected from an overnight hike in the park, Aug.18. Searchers found his car at the Paul Peak trailhead and began looking in the area by helicopter.

According to the press release, searchers located Goodwin's body on a gravel bank downstream of the South Mowich River trail crossing.

“River crossings can be extremely hazardous this time of the year,” Deputy Superintendent Tracy Swartout said in a press release. “The park’s cold, swift-flowing waters require a high level of caution, even for hikers with extensive experience, knowledge and skills.”

Mount Rainier staff recommend hikers scout the area and “exercise extreme caution” before crossing any stream. Hikers should look for log jams, waterfalls and other hazards and then locate an area where they can exit the river should they fall in, according to the press release. Smooth bottoms and low water areas are the best places to cross, and river levels are generally at their lowest in the early morning. It is recommended hikers unfasten the belt of their pack so they can separate from it should they fall in the water. Hikers should also carry a “sturdy stick to maintain two points of contact with the ground at all times,” according the press release. The sound of large rocks and boulders moving around in the river means the water is strong and fast. Hikers should turn back and take an alternate route if a crossing is too hazardous or is above their skill level.

Contact a park Wilderness Information Center and visit the park’s website for more information about hiking safety in Mount Rainier National Park.


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