Firefighter Falls 1000 Feet Down Gibralter Chute on Rainier

The Seattle Times reports Mike Berry fell 1,000 feet at Gibralter Chute on Rainier.

His companion Ryan Tillman spent several hours performing CPR on the 29-year-old Port Angeles firefighter before rangers arrived at the 11,350 foot location. He called 911 at 6:15 a.m. His body was airlifted off by helicopter.

He is the third climber to die this season on the mountain.

Summitpost Description of Chute
Cascadeclimber page on chute

Official NPS Morning Report on Accident:
Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Climber Falls to Death While Attempting to Summit Rainier

On June 10th, a team of climbing rangers recovered the body of a fatally injured climber from 11,350 feet on Gibraltar Chute. Early that morning, climber Mike Beery fell 800 to 1,000 feet during a traverse of the Gibraltar Ledges while attempting to reach the 14,410 foot summit of Mount Rainier. The accident was reported via cell phone by Ryan Tillman, the victim’s climbing partner, who then descended to Beery’s location. Finding no pulse, Tillman performed CPR for over two hours until climbing rangers Matt Hendrickson and Andy Winslow climbed to their location. Beery was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The two climbers left Paradise Thursday to overnight at Camp Muir. They departed Camp Muir at 1 a.m. Friday morning to attempt to summit via the Gibraltar Ledges. The weather and climbing conditions were favorable, with the climb going well until Beery fell without warning or any indication of the cause of his fall. At 10 a.m., rangers, assisted by a World Wind Long Range helicopter, airlifted his body off the mountain. This climbing route has a moderate degree of difficulty, but has unforgiving conditions. The two partners were climbing well within their ability level with the tragic consequences of the fall being a result of the extreme terrain. The Gibraltar Chute is a perennial snowfield made up of snow and ice with a 45 to 50 degree slope. A similar fall, on less extreme terrain, would most likely have had resulted in little or no injury. Mike Beery, 29, of Port Angeles, was a firefighter, and Ryan Tillman, 45, of Port Hadlock, is a volunteer captain, both with Jefferson County Fire out of Chimacum. The IC on this incident was Steve Klump.
[Submitted by Patti Wold, Interpretive Media Specialist]

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