Six people missing while climbing Mount Rainier, assumed dead

Six people who were climbing Washington's Mount Rainier are missing after likely falling during their ascent. Park officials feel there is little chance any of them will be found alive.

A search for the six people has been suspended shortly ahead of sundown after rescuers were able to locate various camping and climbing gear by Carbon Glacier by helicopter, reports the Seattle Times. "They feel there is no chance of survival at this point," Fawn Bauer, National Park Service spokeswoman, said.

The climbers were following the Liberty Ridge route and checked in last three days ago when they were at about an elevation of 12,800 feet. "That is a steep face, almost like an avalanche chute," Bauer commented.

When the search is resumed, it will continue from the air only due to falling rocks and reports of avalanches, according to CNN.

The NPS says that nearly 10,000 people try to climb Mount Rainier any given year, but most choose to return to the base before reaching the summit, which is at an elevation of 14,417 feet.

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