Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2001-04-11
Submitted By: Garth Ferber; NWAC
Place: Easton Glacier, South side of Mount Baker
State: WA
Country: USA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 1 snomobiler caught, buried, and killed. Missing hiker recovered.

It is unknown at this time if the hiker recovered in the media release below this report was an avalanche victim.

********NWAC REPORT***************

Date: 11 April 2001

Submitted by: Garth Ferber, Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center

Place: Mt Baker

State: Washington

Fatalities: 1

Summary: 1 snowmobiler caught, buried, killed

The following is an initial report using information from Brandon

Weathermon, who was a member of the Search and Rescue party.

The victim was high marking a south facing slope at about 6600 feet

between 9 and 10 am. He triggered a 2 to 2.5 foot slab which was

estimated to be 1/3 miles wide, and ran about 700 vertical feet. This

slope may have been loaded by strong northeast winds, seen at weather

stations, earlier in the morning or the night before. At least 3 other

snowmobilers witnessed the avalanche. Other snowmobilers were in the

area, some of whom had beacons and probes. Apparently the victim's

snowmobile and helmet were found relatively soon in the debris. The

victim was not wearing a beacon.

Search and Rescue personnel arrived between 1 and 2 pm. The debris was

blocky, hard wind slab debris. By this time about 30 snowmobilers had

gathered, about half of whom had probes, beacons or shovels, but an

organized probe search had apparently not been performed.

A probe line was organized and the victim was found about 530 pm,

buried about 3-4 feet below the surface, at about 6200 feet. The body

was found directly below the last seen point, about 150' up the hill

from the victim's snowmobile.

Garth Ferber

Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center

*****MEDIA CLIP**************

Snowmobiler Dies, Hiker's Body Recovered

By KOMO Staff & News Services

April 12, 2001

WHATCOM COUNTY - A snowmobiler died Wednesday after being buried for several hours by an avalanche on Mount Baker, and search crews retrieved the body of a hiker reported missing on the mountain last month.

The snowmobiler, 31, of Everett, was trapped in the avalanche near Easton Glacier on the south side of the 10,775-foot mountain east of Bellingham. Three companion snowmobilers reported the man missing in the slide at about 10:30 a.m.

The Whatcom County Sheriffs Office and local search-and-rescue volunteers responded, and the man was pulled from under 6 feet of snow at about 5:30 p.m., deputy Scott Huso said. The man was flown to St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, where he was pronounced dead.