Muir Snowfield Search- Mission Report

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<TMRU Mission ReportAugust 16, 2012

Mark Cooksley, STL

We were contacted early in the week of August 13, 2012 by Mt. Rainier Nat. Park to participate in an ongoing search for climbers/campers missing since January 2012. Increased search efforts had been initiated following the early August discovery by a private party of one of the four missing individuals (midway down the Muir Snowfield). I assumed the STL role and Randy Brake joined me as we drove to MRNP early on the morning of 8/13. I left from my house with the TMR truck at 0430 hours in order to meet at Longmire at 0600 hours. We met several members of OMR and CMR (who also brought two K-9 search dogs with them) at Longmire for a briefing from John Meyers (OMR) who would serve as search leader that day. Following this, we traveled to Paradise, where we met members of SMR and gathered together for a final briefing before moving up the paths at Paradise to begin our search.

Teams were divided up and assigned several tasks. Dog teams were instructed to work up slope, eventually ending at the site where the body was discovered. Teams spread out across the Muir Snowfield, beginning their search efforts at Pebble Creek and working up slope. All teams eventually met near the site where the body was found. Dog teams worked that area, triggering digging from searchers and an eventual course then fine probe of the area. No furthers clues of significance were found throughout these search segments. One search team did render aid to a solo hiker who had started to become tired due to intense sun exposure and dehydration. That team eventually escorted that individual back to the Paradise parking lot.

Once it was established that the dogs were not ‘hitting’ on any other clues, all teams turned around, and proceeded downhill, searching additional segments along the way. Again, no clues were discovered. All teams met up at the Paradise parking lot, and several members traveled to Longmire where a short debrief occurred with the Climbing Ranger on duty.

Randy and I drove home and I dropped him off at his house (where I had picked him up that morning). I returned the truck to the Cache, arriving there at 1900 hours.

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