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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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