UPDATE: Climber Vanishes Near Mount Rainier Summit - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Climber Vanishes Near Mount Rainier Summit; Search Continues

SEATTLE, Wash. - Climbing crews and helicopters continued to comb Mount Rainier Saturday in their efforts to find a 57-year-old climber missing since Thursday. Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Lee Taylor says the 30-member search crew for Eric Lewis of Duvall, Wash., started scouring the mountain at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

Two helicopters, one from Fort Lewis and another from a private company, are searching as well, scouring areas not covered in Friday's search. Lewis and two climbing partners were ascending near the 14,000-foot level Thursday afternoon in low visibility with Lewis last on the rope line. When the first two climbers stopped to rest, they discovered Lewis had unclipped from the rope and was nowhere to be seen.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

Previous Coverage:

ASHFORD, Wash. (AP) - A National Parks spokeswoman says a search is under way for a 57-year-old climber who vanished near the Mount Rainier summit.

Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Lee Taylor says Eric Lewis of Duvall, Wash., was ascending with two other partners when they stopped to rest and regroup. When they pulled the rope, they
discovered Lewis had unclipped and was nowhere to be seen. The group was almost at the 14,000-foot level of the mountain.

The climbing partners searched the nearby area, but could not find him. Searchers located Lewis' backpack and shovel at 13,600 feet and a snow cave at 13,800 feet.

Incident Commander Glenn Kessler says two helicopters from Fort Lewis are assisting the search as well dozen skilled climbers.

The weather is overcast with heavy cloud layer.
    

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