Four stranded climbers on Mount Rainier were successfully rescued Thursday morning in a daring helicopter mission by park rangers during a short break in the weather.
All four are alive but are suffering from exposure to the unrelenting cold at the massive stratovolcano's 13,500-foot elevation, the National Park Service said.
The climbers, who have been stranded on the mountain since Monday, were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after their rescue. All were listed in satisfactory condition.
The rescue unfolded at around 9:15 a.m. when the park's helicopter, conducting aerial reconnaissance during a brief window of good weather, spotted the stranded climbers in the saddle between Liberty Cap and Columbia Crest.
The helicopter was able to land, confirm the climbers’ identities, and fly them off the mountain in two groups. All four were off the upper mountain by 10:05 a.m.