Outdoors

A winter of salvation, sadness

Here is a recap of the recent recreation-related incidents on Mount Rainier.

Dec. 12: Brian Grobois, 54, of New Rochelle, N.Y., was reported missing after he failed to return from a snowshoe hike the previous day. He apparently got disoriented in bad weather. He was spotted, motionless, from a helicopter in the upper Stevens Creek drainage, but rescuers could not reach him until Dec. 13. He was flown to Madigan Army Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Jan. 14: Yong Chun Kim, 66, of Tacoma led a group of 16 people on a snowshoe hike above Paradise. He slipped and fell down a hillside. Unable to climb back up, he told the group via radio he would go around and meet them at Paradise. But Kim went farther east than expected. To stay warm he kept moving and built a small fire, burning money and spare socks. Searchers found Kim holed up in a tree well; he was evacuated on a litter on Jan. 16.

Jan. 14: Josephine Johnson of Lacey, and Jim Dickman of Vancouver, Wash., both 53, left on a snowshoe hike at Paradise. They wound up behind the group led by Kim. They offered to return for help when they learned Kim had fallen. The couple got turned around and wound up in the upper Stevens Creek drainage. They spent two nights in snow caves before hiking out, with Johnson missing one snowshoe, on Jan. 16. They surprised a crew out looking for Kim because no one knew the couple were missing.

Jan. 15: Mark Vucich, 37, of San Diego, and Michelle Trojanowski, 30, of Atlanta, were declared overdue from a snow camping trip on the Muir Snowfield. Terrible weather for more than a week kept rescuers from searching for them. It was hoped they were hunkered down to ride out the storm. An extensive ground and air search on Jan. 23 failed to find them. They are missing and presumed dead.

Jan. 16: Sork Yang of Springfield, Ore., and Seol Hee Jin of South Korea, both 52, were declared overdue after attempting to reach the 14,411-foot summit. Park staff and volunteers searched for them at the same time as the couple who was camping. They are missing and presumed dead.

Jeffrey P. Mayor, jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com

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