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Climber Falls 1,900 Feet, Survives

March 22, 1999

LONGMIRE, Wash. (AP) _ A solo climber fell over rock cliffs and tumbled 1,900 feet down a gully on Mount Rainier early Sunday morning before being rescued by other mountaineers and park rangers.

E. Dawes Eddy, 56, of Spokane, survived the fall with an apparent broken right leg and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where medical workers evaluated his condition Sunday evening.

``It’s a combination of luck plus the softer snow conditions,″ said ranger Rick Kirschner of the National Park Service.

``If this were to happen later in the season when a lot of the softer snow is melted and harder ice or rock (is) exposed, he definitely wouldn’t have survived.″

Eddy, an experienced mountaineer who had climbed Rainier more than 20 times, was climbing in whiteout conditions at about 12,400 feet, Kirschner said.

A group of four other climbers called for help on a cell phone while sending one person down to help him.

Mount Rainier is a 14,410-foot peak about 50 miles southeast of Seattle.

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