Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2004-04-26
Submitted By: NWAC
Place: near the Mt Baker ski area
State: WA
Country: USA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 1 snowboarder caught and killed in small slide

Date: 26 April 2004

Submitted by: NWAC

Place: near the Mt Baker ski area

Fatalities: 1

Activity: Snowboard

Here are some details from a person with local experience who helped

transport the victim.

The victim was descending on a snowboard an approximately 35 degree or

steeper northwest aspect at roughly 4500 feet, between the Mt Baker

ski area boundary gate and Table Mountain, in the vicinity of a local

landmark called ?10 Minute Tree?. He was apparently traveling alone

but accompanied by 2 dogs. The victim had completed about 2-4 turns in

about 150-200 feet below a terrain roll and had likely stopped in a

chute above a small 15 foot section of steep rock. Below the rock was

a small bergschrund created where the snow had gradually moved away

from the rock. Shallow slow moving wet snow likely caught the victim

from behind, carried the victim over the steep rock, and mostly buried

the victim head first in the small bergschrund with his feet and

snowboard exposed. The debris pile was described as about the size of

a car and the avalanche was very likely triggered by the victim.

Garth Ferber

Avalanche Meteorologist

Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center

Initial official report from the county sherriff's office.

For Immediate Release Contact: Deputy

George Ratayczak

04-27-2004 360-676-6650


Snowboarder found buried in snow on Mount Baker

On 04-26-2004 at approximately 1800 hours the Whatcom County Sheriff?s

Office received a report of a snowboarder found buried in a possible

avalanche near Austin Pass on Mount Baker. While enroute to the

location witnesses on the scene advised that the male subject was

deceased and they were unable to dig him out.

Volunteers from Bellingham Mountain Rescue responded and were assisted

by Mount Baker Ski Area employees in recovering the deceased

snowboarder. The remains were transported to the Whatcom County

Medical Examiner?s Office.

It appeared that the person was alone and hiking up the mountain to

snowboard down. He was found at the bottom of a 10-15 foot cliff

buried in the snow from which it appears that he fell from.

At this time no further information is being released pending next of

kin notification.