Backcountry Skier Killed In Avalanche At North Cascades National Park

Alternate Text
This Park Service photo shows the approximate location of the fatal avalanche/NPS

A spring ski tour in the Cascade Range of Washington state turned into tragedy when a snow slide swept away one of the two Seattle men and his body was later spotted by North Cascades National Park rangers from a helicopter.

The park's dispatch office was notifed shortly before 11 a.m. Wednesday that two skiers were ascending the north face of Mount Shuksan when an avalanche occurred. "One skier narrowly avoided getting hit by the snow," the park reported, "but his partner was swept away and could not be located."

About 3:30 p.m. PDT Wednesday two of the park's climbing rangers in a helicopter spotted the missing skier, whose identity was not immediately released. Rangers were able to determine that he did not survive the fall, which was estimated at more than 2,000 feet, the park reported.

Due to the nature of the terrain, and the warm weather with potential for continued unstable snow conditions, park rangers could not complete the recovery Wednesday afternoon. Recovery operations were to take place Thursday morning via helicopter, pending stable conditions.

Comments

Condolences to the family and friends of John Cooper; sounds like he was a wonderful guy - RIP.

Perhaps some Traveler readers might be interested in an informal bio and first-person account of the accident by his partner near the end:

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1124072/Accident_...