Mount Rainier
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(photo: Barry Greg)
News Update:
Body on Mount Rainier Positively Identified
Tuesday, October 28, 1997

The body found on the Upper Cowlitz Glacier yesterday has been positively identified as that of Nicholas Giromini, 25, of Petaluma, California.

Missing on the south side of Mount Rainier since Saturday afternoon, Giromini was found 700 feet above his destination, Camp Muir, at 2pm yesterday.

He is believed to have been killed sometime Saturday. "In all likelihood, he fell or got to that point on Saturday; with the weather conditions, he wouldn't have survived," Rainier National Park spokesperson Donna Rahier said Tuesday morning. Whether Giromini died from injuries sustained in the fall or from exposure has not yet been determined.

Giromini, a painter, had separated from his climbing partner, Mark Moyer, 26, also of Petaluma, at about 3:30pm Saturday when the two stopped at Gibraltar Rock after wandering off route on their descent from the summit of the 14,410' mountain.

Moyer found his way back to the climbing route and made it down to Camp Muir Saturday. When Giromini did not show up, Moyer called 911.

Giromini was found in a depression in the snow, originally thought to have been a crevasse, between Camp Muir and an area known as The Beehive, at 10,700'. He apparently had found his way back onto the climbing route.

"It appeared he had taken a fall, but what caused the fall we don't know," Rahier said, "it could have been fatigue, nobody knows." Giromini fell 500 to 700 vertical feet on the surface of a 35-40 degree slope, she said.

Giromini was not wearing his crampons when he was found. Rahier said the route just above where he was found is rocky, and it is not uncommon for climbers to remove their crampons. As to why he didn't put them back on, Rahier said, "whether he was fatigued, didn't think he needed them or just didn't think of it, I don't know."

Body Found on Mount Rainier
Monday, October 27, 1997 (4pm PST)

A body believed to be that of a 25-year-old California man missing since Saturday was found in a crevasse on Mount Rainier at 2pm today.

"They have discovered the body of a climber and it is presumed to be that of Mr. Giromini," Park spokesperson Donna Rahier said Monday afternoon.

Ground search and rescue crews found a piece of equipment early Monday afternoon and upon further search found the body in a crevasse, Rahier said. Clothing on the body matches the description of the clothing worn by Nicholas Giromini, 25, missing since separating from his climbing partner Saturday afternoon.

As of Monday morning there was a two man team at camp Muir, elevation 10,000', and, as weather permitted, other rescuers joined in the search. It was not known which team found the body or where exactly on the mountain.

The body has yet to be positively identified.

Climber Missing on Mount Rainier
Monday, October 27, 1997 (10am PST)

A foot of snow and high avalanche danger on Washington's Mount Rainier is severely limiting the search for a 25-year-old California man, missing on the Camp Muir route since Saturday and ill prepared for two nights in blizzard conditions.

Nicholas Giromini, of Petaluma, California, was last seen by his climbing partner at 3:30pm Saturday. Giromini was carrying no bivy supplies or emergency gear.

Giromini and a friend, whose name has not been released, set out to climb in "clear and fairly mild weather" Saturday morning, Rainier National Park spokesperson Donna Rahier said. The two stashed their supplies to climb light and reached the summit via the Cadaver Gap and Disappointment Cleaver route. On the descent, they wandered off route and after stopping at Gibraltar Rock, elevation 12,500', the two separated.

The remaining climber, also from Petaluma, last saw Giromini descending toward Gibraltar Ledge and Gibraltar Chute. The remaining climber made his way across the Ingraham Glacier and found the tracks left when the pair ascended. Never regaining sight of Giromini, the climber made his way to Camp Muir, at 10,000', and used a cell phone to call 911.

It is unclear why the two separated.

"Unless something happened he should have been able to find his way to Camp Muir," Rahier said Monday. Weather on the mountain remained clear until 11:30pm Saturday night. Sunday saw six to 12 inches of snow fall and posed whiteout conditions. It is still snowing today below 9,000' and although clear at higher elevations, the possibility of avalanche is "high."

As of today, Monday, there is a two man climbing team at Camp Muir doing a visual search "and going out where it's safe," Rahier said. There are two helicopters on standby waiting for a weather window to launch an aerial search. Forecasts indicate a possible clearing Monday afternoon.

Giromini is wearing some type of bib overalls, a fleece jacket, crampons and is carrying an ice axe. He does not have food or a tent. The two men have done some climbing on California's Yosemite and Shasta, but do not have extensive climbing experience. The men had not been to Mount Rainier before.— Sarah Love, Mountain Zone Staff

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