After two nights in remote backcountry, snowshoer Yong Chun Kim, 66, was found about 2 p.m. Monday in the Stevens Creek drainage.
A snowshoer missing since Saturday at Mount Rainier National Park was found alive Monday after more than two days in remote backcountry under harsh winter conditions.
A team of rescuers reached Yong Chun Kim, 66, of Tacoma, at about 2 p.m. in the Stevens Creek drainage just east of Mazama Ridge, said National Park Service spokeswoman Lee Taylor.
Kim was conscious and appeared in stable condition and able to walk.
“It’s unbelievable,” Taylor said. “By the third day, with these kind of weather conditions, most of us feared the worst.”
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Monday evening, rescuers were planning to bring in a Sno-Cat snow vehicle to help carry him out to a paved road, possibly by about 10 p.m. Taylor said Kim would be taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup for observation.
She said it had been snowing steadily the past three days with nighttime temperatures in the teens. Winds had died down Monday, but she said there were gusts up to 50 mph Saturday when Kim disappeared.
“Finding him was very, very difficult. Any tracks were obliterated by the winds and falling snow,” Taylor said.
The Tacoma man was located by a team of three searchers led by park Ranger Jordan Mammel.
Kim was leading a snowshoeing hike when he fell down a slope, according to The Associated Press. He told the others in his group he would rejoin them at the park’s visitor center but didn’t make it out, leading to a search that included 90 people Monday, Taylor said.
Kim, an experienced snowshoer, apparently made it through two nights of severe conditions without overnight equipment, Taylor said.
“He had very little gear. That he was able to persevere is a testament to his determination and strength.”
His wife, son and daughter-in-law waited for word at Paradise.
“As time went by, they grew increasingly anxious. Like us, they started to fear the worst,” Taylor said. “It was an incredible relief for them when he was found alive.”
Lynn Thompson: 206-464-8305 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter@lthompsontimes.