Former Mount Rainier ranger dies in Tibet fall

Posted: Friday, October 29, 2010

ASHFORD, Wash. - Former Mount Rainier National Park ranger Joe Puryear, noted for climbs in the Cascades, Alaska and around the world, has died in a fall on a remote mountain in Tibet.

Park spokesman Kevin Bacher says it was notified in an e-mail from former ranger Mike Gauthier who said he got a call early Wednesday describing the accident.

Bacher says Rainier's lead climbing ranger David Gottlieb was climbing with Puryear at the time.

Gauthier says Gottlieb found that Puryear broke through a cornice and died in a 1,500-foot fall on the 24,170-foot mountain, Labuche Kang.

The News Tribune of Tacoma reports Puryear lived in Leavenworth and is survived by his wife, Michelle. He was a Mount Rainier ranger in the 1990s.

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