Searchers Looking For Missing Snowshoer At Mount Rainier National Park

More than two dozen personnel were searching an area near Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park on Sunday for a missing snowshoer who failed to return from an afternoon outing the day before.

Blizzard conditions hampered the effort Saturday afternoon and evening to find Yong Chun Kim, a 66-year-old Tacoma man said to be familiar with snowshoeing at the park.

According to park reports, Mr. Kim was leading a snowshoe walk for a hiking group from Tacoma when he slipped down a steep slope. He was unable to ascend back to the group and told them he would go around and meet them, park officials said. His hiking companions returned to Paradise, and when Mr. Kim had not returned by 3 p.m., the NPS initiated a hasty search that continued until 9 p.m.

Mr. Kim was thought to be well-equipped for day travel, but did not have overnight gear or experience. He was carrying a radio and last spoke to his companions yesterday at 2:30 p.m., saying he was OK and on his way out, park officials said.

Weather conditions at Paradise were severe Saturday afternoon, with winds gusting 30-50 mph creating blizzard conditions. About 5" of snow fell overnight, and snow showers were expected to continue on Sunday.