Body of Missing Climber Located on Mount Rainier

Outdoor adventure guide Kyle Bufis
Outdoor adventure guide Kyle Bufis

The search for a 25-year-old climber on Mount Rainier was suspended Saturday afternoon after a search helicopter spotted a man’s body near the summit.

The body of the man seemed to match the description of Kyle Bufis, who had been missing since about 9 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Park Service.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s office will confirm the identity.

Bufis disappeared near Liberty Saddle after he had climbed the Liberty Ridge route.

He had been part of a three-person climbing team that was descending the mountain, according to Patti Wold, a spokeswoman with Mount Rainier National Park.

There were high winds and low visibility at the time, she said.

The other two members of the climbing team — Derek Gavelis and Matthew Wiech — reached Camp Schurman on their own late Friday afternoon and are in good condition, Wold said in a Saturday news release.

Bufis, from Utah, was last seen by the other two climbers in the party at 14,000 feet near Liberty Saddle on the mountain’s north flank.

Wold said the two other climbers spent Thursday night in a crevasse, according to a text message sent by one of them that night.

The initial missing-person report reached park headquarters at 5:10 a.m. Friday.

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SOURCE: Janet I. Tu
The Seattle Times

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