Climbers bodies retrieved from Mount Rainier |

Climbers bodies retrieved from Mount Rainier

ASHFORD, Wash. ” The bodies of two climbers were brought down Mount Rainier on Tuesday afternoon, a day after being spotted by rangers.

The two men were the first deaths on the mountain this year, Mount Rainier National Park officials said.

The two were spotted Monday but rangers had to turn back because of nightfall. A helicopter returned Tuesday morning to drop three climbing rangers near the bodies, at about 8,200 feet elevation on the Muir snow field, just off the east flank of Paradise Glacier, said Patti Wold, a park spokeswoman.

The rangers also drew sketches of the scene. “Anything that will tell them what could have happened,” Wold said.

Tim Stark, 57, and his nephew Greg Stark, 27, both of Lakewood, failed to return from a planned weekend trip to Camp Muir, at the 10,000-foot level of the 14,411-foot peak, supervisory ranger Mike Gauthier said Monday.

The men set out on their trip Saturday but a heavy snowstorm hit the area over the weekend. Gauthier said the men may have become disoriented by the storm. Tim Stark’s wife reported them missing Monday.

Wold said neither was dressed appropriately ” one wore shorts and the other cotton pants. However, they had proper clothing in their packs. They also had tents and sleeping bags.

“We are not quite sure what caused them to not be able to deploy their tents or get into their sleeping bags,” Wold said.

Rangers on the mountain Tuesday used personal identification found with the bodies to confirm they were those of the missing climbers, Wold said.

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