SEATTLE (AP) — Six climbers on Mount Rainier are presumed dead after a fall from one of the most technical and physically grueling routes on Washington state's Mount Rainier.
The mountain, southeast of Seattle, is popular with climbers of all abilities, from novices who take guided climbs to experienced alpinists who use the glacier-laden peak to train for ascents on taller mountains.
The identities of the two guides from Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International were released on its website Monday. The company and Mount Rainier National Park have refused to release other names, citing privacy issues, but family members have released details on two other climbers.
More than 100 people commented on Alpine Ascents' Facebook page remembering the lead guide on the Mount Rainier journey, who was a resident of Truckee, California. Hegeman led climbs throughout northern California and had done extensive rock climbing throughout the state, the company said.
"Matt, intense, philosophical and driven by the right way to do things, left an indelible mark on all around him. His pursuit for excellence was matched by his sense of camaraderie and humor," the company wrote on its website.
Holly Mullally, wife of one of the victims, issued a statement to The Seattle Times on Monday saying she had climbed with Hegeman.
"I respected his leadership and found him to be experienced, skilled, appropriately conservative, thoughtful, and someone who I could count on to keep my husband safe, barring tragedy beyond our control," she wrote of the guide.
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