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Seattle man dies in climbing accident at Mount Rainier National Park

A Seattle man died this week in a climbing accident at Mount Rainier National Park.
A Seattle man died this week in a climbing accident at Mount Rainier National Park. alynn@thenewstribune.com

A climber died this week while rappelling off a peak in Mount Rainier National Park, officials said.

Stephen Kornbluth, 35, of Seattle, summited 6,710-foot Dewey Peak with two friends Tuesday after climbing the mountain’s west face.

That route is a Class 3 scramble, which requires some technical skill. It is on the east side of the park about three and a half miles south of Chinook Pass.

Kornbluth’s two partners rappelled safely before he started to come down. It’s unclear what caused Kornbluth to fall. Rangers are investigating, park spokesman Kevin Bacher said.

After Kornbluth fell, the other two climbers immediately called 911 and activated an emergency beacon before descending to where he landed. They performed CPR but Kornbluth was unresponsive.

Rugged terrain and the late hour kept rangers and search teams from reaching the scene until Wednesday, when they recovered his body with a helicopter.

In this 2014 file video, soldiers with B company 1-214 General Support Aviation Battalion train to take on the dangerous task of rescuing climbers on Mount Rainier.

Kornbluth was a basic alpine climbing student with The Mountaineers branch in Olympia, joining a year ago and completing basic navigation and wilderness first aid courses.

“Stephen has only been a member with us for one year, but in that time he deeply engrained himself in our community, especially with our Olympia climbing group,” The Mountaineers wrote on their website.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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