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[pct-l] March 1979 death on Rainier

 Even my favorite climber of all time " Bit it" on Rainier. Willie Unsoeld ( 
who graduated from College in Eugene, was a Smokejumper in the 1950's, 
climbed Everest in 1963  on a first assent route and had the record high 
campout  at 28,000ft. coming off Everest) March  of 1979, he was leading a 
group of Evergreen Students on a winter Mountaineering course ,. Group got 
caught in bad weather and he decided to descend.  Small avalanche got him and 
three others. ( One other girl died as well) He was one of the best in the 
world  and Rainier's weather set him up like a Christmas Turkey!! Willie 
always said , " Life starts at 10,000ft".  Winter and spring weather can be 
so fickle in the Mountains. Even to a smaller extent, our 1977 trip through a 
light snow year in May , quickly turned  into " Sierra's Revenge" in which 
several hikers were caught off guard by seemingly light snow pack until they 
were deep in the Sierras. One thing to note on the Rainier death's this week. 
If you live here , you can pick the best time to climb and keep a close eye 
on the weather. Many climbers come from back east and may be deadlocked with 
their climbing dates. This climb or quit because of a " Wired time frame" 
pushes climbers into bad weather . Sorry for getting off PCT topics.  

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