A climber from Canada died after falling from a popular route on Mount Rainier on Thursday. The man, who has been identified as 52-year-old Chun Hui Zhang from British Columbia, was climbing for fun with friends when the accident happened.
As CNN reports, Zhang fell while descending the Disappointment Cleaver route, which is the most popular on the mountain. The inaccessible terrain meant rescuers struggled to find him, and eventually managed to reach him via helicopter. Sadly, he had passed away.
According to nonprofit organization The Mountaineers, the Disappointment Cleaver route provides two options for summer and winter months. During the summer months, climbers can take a more direct route that begins with a scramble to the Ingraham Flats glacier, which must be traversed quickly due to overhanging seracs (columns of glacial ice that can topple without warning).
Climbers then continue to the top of Disappointment Cleaver and climb as directly as possible to the east crater rim. From there, they can scramble into the crater and climb back up on the west rim to reach the summit.
The winter route changes year-by-year, and avoids the slopes of Disappointment Cleaver itself, which are prone to avalanches and rockfalls.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.