kirk was my boyfriend of two years. troy is his best friend. they were also neighbors. kirk was an only child. so things around here have been tough.
Snowshoer's body found on Mount Rainier
College student killed in avalanche
By VANESSA HO
Searchers at Mount Rainier National Park found the body of 22-year-old Kirk Reiser on Friday afternoon, three days after an avalanche buried him while he was snowshoeing through Edith Creek Basin, about a mile from Paradise.
Reiser, of Lynnwood, disappeared Tuesday. Two days of heavy snow, whiteout conditions, whipping winds and high avalanche danger hampered rescue crews.
A break in the weather Friday allowed searchers to fully venture into the steep terrain. Rangers on snowshoes first brought in small explosives to trigger an avalanche, stabilizing the area for searchers.
Then a team of 40 people -- rangers, Crystal Mountain experts, mountain rescue volunteers and a search dog -- scoured the area for Reiser's body.
The search dog from Crystal Mountain, named Sherman, alerted the team to an area along a creek at the bottom of a waterfall. The team began to concentrate on that area, probing with long poles. Reiser was found at 4 p.m.
Crews remained at the scene after nightfall and retrieved the body about 6 p.m. Park spokesman Kevin Bacher said they wanted to bring the body in before more snow fell, which is predicted for Saturday.
Reiser, a student at Edmonds Community College, had been snowshoeing with a friend, Troy Metcalf, 23, Tuesday, with plans to reach Camp Muir at 10,188 feet. But extreme weather forced them to turn around at the tree line, near Panorama Point.
On their descent, an avalanche swept away Reiser in front of Metcalf. Metcalf spent hours digging for his friend, before marking the area with his ski pole and summoning help at Paradise.
Both men have been described as experienced snowshoers who enjoyed being in the wilderness.
"On behalf of all of us at Mount Rainier National Park, and within the mountain rescue community, we express our sincere regrets and condolences to the family and friends of Kirk Reiser," Bacher said.