Mt. Rainier snow

Mt. Rainier snow

photo:  matthew phx

Backcountry skier Tucker Taffe passed away on 14,411’ Mt. Rainier yesterday, May 10th, 2011.  Tucker had summited Rainier that morning and was skiing down the Upper Nisqually Glacier at about 13,180’ when he skied into a 100-foot deep crevasses at 10:00am.

Tucker was descending on skis unroped with a group of four when the incident occurred.  Tucker initially was still alive and could be heard by his climbing partners on the surface.  One member of the group left to get help and discovered a team of Alpine Ascents International mountaineering guides in the midst of a training exercise.  The guides quickly ascended to the site of the accident and sent one of the guides down to check Tucker’s status.  Unfortunately Tucker had passed away from his injuries by the time the guide arrived.

The guides pulled Tucker’s body out of the crevasse before a military helicopter landed on the mountain and removed the body.

Mount Rainier received 491 inches of snow this winter which is well below Rainier’s seasonal average of 680 inches annually.

Tucker Taffe was originally from New York, lived in Utah, worked at Alta ski resort, and was an experienced skier.  At 33 years of age, Tucker was the 99th person to pass away on Mt. Rainier.

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