By MANUEL VALDES
SEATTLE (AP) – Mount Rainier National Park officials say six climbers are presumed dead after helicopters detected pings from emergency beacons buried in the snow and a debris field that may indicate an avalanche.
Park spokeswoman Patricia Wold told KOMO-TV on Saturday that there’s no way the group could have survived. The Seattle Times reports that rescuers found tents, clothing and debris strewn over hundreds of feet down the mountain’s sheer north side.
The newspaper reports air and ground searches have been suspended.
Park Ranger Fawn Bauer says the six were 12,800 feet at last contact Wednesday. The station reports searchers picked up the pings at 9,000 feet.
The missing group includes four clients of Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International and two guides. They were due to return from the mountain Friday.
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