Searchers look for ill climber on Mount Rainier

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ASHFORD, Wash. (AP) -- An initial search Tuesday by a helicopter and Mount Rainier National Park rangers on the ground failed to find a climber who was overcome by hypothermia and frostbite.

Park spokeswoman Patti Wold says the Joint Base Lewis-McChord helicopter refueled and returned to the mountain while several teams of rangers searched Tuesday afternoon above Liberty Ridge, which is at about the 13,600-foot level of the 14,410-foot peak.

She says the man could have been covered by snow.

The search continues for 50-year-old Rob Planker of Olympia where he works at an outdoor equipment store.

Planker and two other climbers started Friday from White River on the Liberty Ridge route. Wold says they encountered cold and high winds that left Planker unable to move. The other two went for help Monday.