St. Paul climber sought 'bigger challenge' on Mt. Rainier

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Mark Mahaney was always in motion. He was an energetic sort, and one of his passions was mountain climbing, according to his uncle. Mahaney's passion led him to attempt to reach the summit of Mount Rainier last week, via one of its more dangerous routes, and that decision ultimately led to his death.

Mahaney, 26, of St. Paul, is one of six people believed to have died after their climbing party fell some 3,300 feet on Mount Rainier, in Washington State, late last week.

Mahaney's uncle, Rob Mahaney of Elko, Minn., said his nephew was always climbing, according to the Seattle Times. Mark Mahaney climbed frozen waterfalls in Minnesota, he climbed Mount Rushmore and summited Mount McKinley in Alaska. And he'd been to the summit of Mount Rainier once before.

(Mahaney shot this video of himself climbing a frozen waterfall in Sandstone, Minnesota in January 2012, using a camera on his helmet.)

“I think he was looking for a bigger challenge,” Rob Mahaney said of his nephew’s decision to tackle the Liberty Ridge route, which is one of the most difficult routes to Mount Rainier's summit, according to the Seattle Times. Rock and ice falls are a bigger risk on that route than others, and become more risky as the weather warms up and melts the snow and ice, according to park officials.

Mahaney had been training for the trip for months, and wrote on his Facebook page that “nothing will be easy on this climb.”

At the family's Easter gathering in April, Rob Mahaney said a relative tried to talk Mark out of making the trip.

“But there was nothing that was going to stop him. This is what gives us a warm feeling: He was doing what he absolutely loved," his uncle said.

The six climbers are presumed dead, and efforts to find them have been called off. Patti Wold, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, said conditions are too dangerous for searchers to go to the area where the climbers' gear was spotted on Saturday by a helicopter crew. Their bodies are believed to be buried under layers of ice and snow.

It could be months before their remains are found, if ever, because that area is so hazardous, the Associated Press reports.

It’s unclear whether the climbers were moving or camping at the time of the accident. Rescuers speculate that a rock fall or avalanche caused the climbers to fall.

(This is video Mahaney shot climbing Mount Francis in Alaska, in May 2012, using a helmet cam.)

Next Up

Zach Parise

Ghosts of Wild's past force split with Sharks

Brent Burns and Ryan Donato thwarted a comeback attempt by the Wild.

Avante Dickerson

Top-ranked recruit Avante Dickerson decommits from Gopher football

The four-star cornerback was the highest-rated recruit in Minnesota's 2021 class.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Limits on in-person court activity extended for 45 days

The statewide order extends current limitations through March 15.

D'Angelo Russell / Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves need more from D'Angelo Russell

The Wolves haven't gotten what they expected since making a blockbuster trade.

oct. 20 snow crash

Spinouts, crashes still happening after snow leaves MN roads a mess

The snow storm caused at least 208 crashes this weekend.

1024px-Crock_pot

For The Week: Food tips and tricks to get you through the next 7 days

BMTN's food writer Lindsay Guentzel makes life easier for Minnesotans.

snow, plow

Here's how much snow fell in Saturday's storm in Minnesota

MSP Airport had the highest total as of 7 a.m. Sunday with 5.3 inches.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

Related