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Rainier rangers still looking for skier, but terrain unsafe for extensive search

Skiers make their way upward toward Camp Muir on an overcast day in early June. A skier went missing on July 3 after falling through a snowbridge and into Pebble Creek while attempting to ski from Camp Muir to Paradise.
Skiers make their way upward toward Camp Muir on an overcast day in early June. A skier went missing on July 3 after falling through a snowbridge and into Pebble Creek while attempting to ski from Camp Muir to Paradise. Craig Hill

Due to safety concerns, the search for a missing hiker is being done from a distance by Mount Rainier climbing rangers during their normal patrols, a national park spokeswoman said Wednesday.

A 30-year-old man went missing Monday after falling through a snowbridge and into Pebble Creek while attempting to ski from Camp Muir to Paradise. His partner tried to locate him for two hours using an avalanche probe. A ground search launched Monday night and an aerial search took place Tuesday morning. The skier’s name has not been released.

The soft and unstable snow are unsafe for searchers so, park spokeswoman Patti Wold said, searches rangers are looking for signs of the missing skier when they are patrolling above the location of the fall.

While this approach, which the park sometimes calls a “limited continuous search,” is most frequently used when a climber is presumed dead, Wold said Wednesday afternoon that the park did not yet have an “official presumed status” for the missing hiker.

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