The bodies were spotted on August 7, during a training flight in the area. Recent warm weather melted some of the ice and snow in the debris field, exposing the three. Park staff, working with personnel from Northwest Helicopters, developed a plan to mitigate the risk involved in extricating the bodies from this highly dangerous location. Rock and ice fall off Willis Wall, and an increase in new crevasses in Carbon Glacier below, combine to make this one of the most hazardous locations in the park.
The operation consisted of Northwest Helicopters MD-530 using a remote controlled Heli-Tech grabber device mounted from a 100 foot long line. Eight park rangers participated in the planning and execution of the operation.
No evidence of additional remains was encountered during the operation.