What if Bob and Cathleen Terczak had invested in a personal locater beacon before they began their week-long backcountry trek in North Cascades National Park? It's a haunting question in the wake of a climbing accident that killed the 50-year-old Maryland woman.
Would the situation have turned out differently had the couple been carrying a personal locater beacon that might have summoned help after she fell 35 feet while climbing Klawatti Peak? The accident occurred last Saturday, and after lingering for about 24 hours the woman died from her injuries in the couple's tent atop Klawatti Glacier.
A raging storm prevented the 58-year-old Mr. Terczak from immediately going for help. When he finally was able to leave the tent Monday morning, the man struggled crossing rugged terrain and then encountered the Cascade River, in which he nearly drowned while crossing.
Mr. Terczak was found about 9 p.m. Monday by a trio of Seattle-area climbers who discovered him coming out of an outhouse, naked except for some toilet paper wrapped around his head and part of his body.
The man told the climbers about his wife's accident and his ordeal trying to find help. Bad weather prevented rangers from retrieving the woman's body until Thursday, when a helicopter was used to reach the couple's tent.
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