2 Hypothermia Fatalities on Rainier's Muir Snowfield


The News Tribune report 2 Lakewood climbers died on the Muir Snowfield in whiteout conditions on Rainier.

Tim Stark, 57, and his nephew Greg Stark, 27, began their trip on Saturday to Camp Muir at 10,000 feet and were reported missing on Monday. They were found on the snowfield just west of Paradise Glacier at 8,300 feet, about 1,500 feet above where the trail from the Paradise area ends. They were about 150 feet from each other and their headlamps were still on.

Although both had the proper equipment and had tents and sleeping bags, they were dressed inappropriately. One was wearing shorts and the other cotton pants. Authorities said there was food and snow in the tent that was in their pack and that probably implies they had problems setting up their tent in the snowstorm. Thus they probably suffered hypothermia and thus became disoriented.

The Muir Snowfield under normal conditions is not a particularly dangerous or technical area but Rainier Climbing Ranger Mike Gauthier has said that the most casualties on Rainier occur on it.


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