The search for six climbers missing on Mount Rainier has been postponed, and Rangers now say they believe the climbers fell some 3,000 feet and did not survive.

The climbers were taking the Liberty Ridge route up the mountain - one of the more technical and advanced routes.

Park officials said two guides with Alpine Ascents International and four clients were reported missing Friday at about 4:30 p.m.

The party went in on Monday and were due out Friday.

The last time anyone spoke to them was Wednesday around 6 p.m. via satellite phone.

On Saturday, a ground search spotted camping and climbing gear at the 9,000-foot Carbon Glacier.

A helicopter was able to fly low enough that it detected a beacon signal in the area where the gear was found.

The climbers had indicated on Wednesday that weather was moving in so it s believed they most likely hunkered down at that time. It s possible they fell 3,000 feet to the 9,000-foot level.

The beacon signal was coming from a debris area, where rock, ice and snow were continuously coming down.

Searchers can t get into the area because of the extreme danger. Park officials said there would be a limited and continuous search.

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