updated 5/24/2005 7:42:35 PM ET 2005-05-24T23:42:35

Rescuers on Tuesday retrieved the bodies of two climbers who a relative said left for a weekend trek up Mount Rainier dressed in shorts and cotton pants, hours before a severe snowstorm rolled in, officials said.

Mount Rainier National Park rangers spotted two motionless bodies from a helicopter on Monday, but had to turn back as night fell.

Rescuers returned the next day to retrieve and identify the bodies of Tim Stark, 57, and his nephew, Greg Stark, 27, both of Lakewood.

They were the first deaths on the mountain this year, park officials said.

A heavy weekend snowstorm hit the area and may have disoriented the men after they left Saturday for Camp Muir, at the 10,000-foot level of the 14,411-foot peak

Tim Stark’s wife reported them missing Monday. She said neither was dressed appropriately — one wore shorts and the other cotton pants — but they were carrying proper clothing, tents and sleeping bags.

The bodies were found at an altitude of about 8,200 feet on the Muir snow field, said Patti Wold, a park spokeswoman. Rangers were drawing sketches of the scene to help figure out what might have happened, she said.

“We are not quite sure what caused them to not be able to deploy their tents or get into their sleeping bags,” Wold said.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments