Mount Rainier rangers seek missing snowshoer

Parts of park will remain closed until search is concluded

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Nearly 50 mountain rescue volunteers and three German shepherds joined Mount Rainier National Park rangers Sunday in searching near Paradise for snowshoer Yong Chun Kim, 66, of Tacoma, the National Park Service announced.

Kim, who failed to return from an excursion Saturday, has been snowshoeing for 10 years, is a good hiker, and was well-equipped for a day of snowshoeing, park officials said. He was not, however, carrying overnight gear, and the weather at Paradise was severe Saturday night, with blizzard conditions, temperatures in the teens and 5 inches of new snow.

Officials say Kim was leading a Tacoma hiking club on a snowshoe walk Saturday when he slipped down a steep slope and couldn’t climb back up. He told the group he’d go around and meet them farther down the trail. The group reported him overdue at 2 p.m., and rangers began a search at 3 p.m.

If the search continues into a third day, the road from Longmire to Paradise will remain closed Monday to keep visitors from confusing the searchers and free park staff to concentrate on finding Kim, said park officials.