A Mount Rainier climb ends in tragedy.

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) – An injured climber plucked by rescue helicopter from high on the north slope of Mount Rainier has died, a Pierce County medical examiner’s spokeswoman confirmed Monday night.

“We have been advised he has passed away,” said Mary deTracy, a medical investigator with the medical examiner’s office here.

She declined to identify the climber by name but Peter Cooley, 39, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, has been rescued several hours earlier from the 12,300 foot level of the 14,410-foot mountain southeast of here.

An Oregon Army National Guard Chinook that had been standing by in Yakima, about 100 miles away, swept in when the clouds parted briefly and winched the injured climber aboard after he was strapped to a litter.

A Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman had said Cooley would be taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, a trauma center. Instead, he was taken to Madigan Army Medical Center near Tacoma, said Dave Kuhns, a Fort Lewis Army base spokesman.

“I cannot discuss his condition pending notification of next of kin,” Kuhns said Monday night. Madigan officials referred all calls to the Fort Lewis spokesman.

AP-ES-05-17-04 2322EDT

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