ST. GEORGE – A search for a St. George man reported missing Thursday at an altitude of higher than 14,000 feet on Mount Rainier in Washington state has ended Saturday after search and rescue teams located a body.
Kyle Bufis, a 25-year-old man from St. George, was part of an independent three-person climbing team that went missing around 9 p.m. Thursday after climbing Liberty Ridge, a challenging route on the north flank of the mountain, “in high winds and low visibility,” according to a press release issued by Mount Rainier National Park Service Saturday afternoon.
The ground and aerial search for Bufis has been suspended as crews work to recover a body, appearing to match Bufis’ description, spotted by a search helicopter, according to the statement.
“Although the subject matches the description of the missing climber, confirmation rests with the Pierce County Medical Examiner,” the National Park Service said in the statement.
The other two climbers, Derek Gavelis and Mathew Wiech, escaped the high winds by seeking shelter inside a crevasse before descending to Camp Schurman on their own the following day, the statement said. Although both men were reportedly tired, they were in good condition physically.
According to his Facebook page, Bufis worked as a field instructor for Expedition Therapy Associates, located in St. George.
A U.S. Army Reserve 214th Air Division Chinook helicpoter, an Airlift Northwest helicopter and 39 park personnel have been involved in the search, the National Park Service said.
This is a developing story and may be updated as further details emerge.
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