A climber’s body, found on Mount Rainier, is believed to be that of a missing Utah man, Kyle Bufis.
On Saturday, June 13, a helicopter spotted the body of a deceased male near the summit of Mount Rainier. Because the Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Patricia Wold said the body matches the description of missing climber Kyle Bufis, the search for Bufis, 25, has been suspended. The Pierce County Medical Examiner will ultimately determine the body’s identity once the rangers are able to uncover it.
According to Fox News, Bufis was a part of a three-person team. He disappeared after severe weather hit when they were near Liberty Saddle at approximately 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 11. The group had just finished climbing Liberty Ridge, a route on the north flank of Mount Rainier, and were descending the mountain in high winds that reached approximately 70 miles an hour and very low visibility.
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As the Inquisitr previously reported, while the group was about 14,000-feet high, they realized they had left a piece of equipment, a gas stove, behind at their camp. Bufis didn’t think the camp was too far away, and volunteered to go get the stove on his own. Since then, he has not been heard from or seen.
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The other two climbers, Derek Gavelis and Mathew Wiech, were able to make it to Camp Schurman in good physical condition on Friday, June 12. When Gavelis and Wiech realized Bufis was missing, they contacted a family member, via text, and they proceeded to contact the National Park Service. A formal search was then launched.
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“The [route they took] is one of the most difficult routes on the mountain,” Patti Wold said. “It is not highly traveled.”
“They had made a camp for the night … but the first one didn’t work out. They had to pack up and move,” Wold added. “They didn’t move that far. They were trying to get out of the winds.”
The Associated Press reports that approximately 10,000 people attempt to climb the mountain each year. The medical examiner is expected to determine the official identity of the climber’s body within the next few days.
[Photo via Shutterstock]