Body of former Heavenly Mountain Resort ski patroller recovered in Mount Rainier National Park
August 22, 2017
Mount Rainier National Park search and rescue personnel have recovered the body of a former Heavenly Mountain Resort ski patrol member missing since July 3.
Dmitri Pajitnov, 30, went missing after falling through a snow bridge on Mount Rainier near Pebble Creek.
Friends in South Lake Tahoe gathered on July 18 to remember Pajitnov, a former technician in the Barton Hospital emergency department and ski patrol member at Heavenly Mountain Resort.
In a statement initially posted Saturday, Aug. 19, the park stated it had recovered the body of "a 30 year-old Washington man who, on July 3, had fallen into a hole above Pebble Creek while descending on skis from Camp Muir."
Mount Rainier National Park did not identify Pajitnov by name, but the Tribune confirmed with the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office on Monday night, Aug. 21, that he was the person recovered on Saturday.
More than 22 ground and air searches were conducted after Pajitnov went missing, according to the park. Unsafe conditions prevented search and rescue personnel from locating Pajitnov until snow over the creek melted out.
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"In early August the body of the missing skier was located at the bottom of a waterfall approximately 30 meters from the location where he had fallen into Pebble Creek," the park said in a statement.
A team of eight search and rescue personnel safely reached the body on Saturday and successfully extracted it using a long line helicopter operation.
More than 40 personnel assisted in the search and recovery.
Pajitnov was a first-year medical student at St. George’s University, an avid back-country skier, a seven-time Burner, an amateur lumberjack, and an incredible brother, son, cousin and friend, according to a website created to celebrate his life.