Search and rescue crews in Washington believe six climbers are dead after they fell 3,000 ft on Mt. Rainier.
The hikers were last heard from at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
KHON2 has learned that a handful of Hawaii hikers were on the mountain that same day, and at the last minute decided to take a different route.
“And we initially selected that route as the one we were going to take so we were planning to be on that same route at the same time, however one of the other experienced climbers that was going to be joining with my group wasn’t able to join on the trip, so the last minute I changed it to a route that would be a more conservative route for the group that we had.” Hiker Steve Haumschild said.
Haumschild says they started seeing helicopters circling the mountain, and that’s when they knew something had happened.
“Due to the very cold nights and very warm days, there were quite a few avalanches and rock falls on the mountain, and we heard roughly 20 or so ourselves throughout the night. ” Haumschild said. “Our thoughts go out to all the climbers that weren’t able to make it off the mountain that day and just thinking how sad our families would be so it’s a very sad and tragic loss.”
Search crews say there are no plans at this time to actively search for the missing hikers.