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North Cascades Climbing Accident


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Just wanted you guys to know:

This is confirmed information from the folks at the North Cascades National Park.


The accident occurred appx 4p on Sunday, Jul 10 on Shark Fin tower (unknown elevation) in N Cascades National Park east of Marblemount, near Boston Basin

A party of 6 climbers, 4 of whom were involved in the accident.

1 was seriously injured, 3 were killed, 2 are uninjured.

Their names not being released yet pending family notification.

A party of park rangers is approaching the scene, but it is unknown what caused the accident.

A 2nd party of climbers were in the area when the accident happened and a member of that party has been in contact with park personnel via cellphone.

A rescue helicopter standing by and will launch at first light to try and rescue the injured and uninjured clibmers...then they will work on recovering the deceased climbers.

The weather conditions where the climbers are...raining through the night, overcast, but temps above freezing level.

The climbers are all from washington state, but we don't know what city they're from until the families have been notified.


Stay safe out there, guys!

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This is so sad. I don't know what to say.

I know one of the persons who died...she was a longtime friend. I'm sure I'll know more names soon.


I don't feel right just putting her name out here just yet, although I know her family has been notified. I'm sure that her name, and the rest of the names, will be public soon.


I met her almost 20 years ago, have climbed with her many times. She is a great person.


This is just so sad...she will be sorely missed.

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Three climbers killed in North Cascades




MARBLEMOUNT, Wash. -- Rescuers were dispatched to North Cascades National Park after a climbing accident that killed three people, officials said Monday.


The victims were part of a six-member party climbing Sunday in the area of Sharkfin Tower, about 20 miles east of Marblemount, park spokesman Tim Manns said. A fourth climber in the group was seriously injured and two others were not hurt.


The climbers were on a trip organized through the Mountaineers group, Seattle director Steve Costie said. "It was one of our basic experience climbs for our climbing class, I think," Costie said.


Approaching the peak requires crossing a glacier, then ascending a rock face. The climb requires that members be roped together, but it was unclear whether that was the case Sunday.


All six of the climbers are from Washington state, Manns said, but he declined to identify them pending notification of family. Rangers learned of the accident from other climbers who reported it using a cellphone.




A guide from Alpine Ascents International assisted the Mountaineers party after the accident, program director Gordon Janow said. That guide, Pat Timson, sent the two climbers he was with down to base camp and returned to help.


Information from Timson indicated that the Mountaineers party were caught under falling rock, possibly when they strayed from the normal climbing route, Janow said.


Costie said he had little information about the accident. "Until the rescue has been accomplished ... we have no idea what happened," he said.


Timson spent the night at the scene, and was in contact with his wife, another Alpine Ascents guide, by cell phone. A second Alpine Ascents guide left for the scene of the accident Monday morning to assist Timson and the others, Janow said.


"Our guides are all basically wilderness first responders, so we sent the climbers down and sent the guide back up there," Janow said.


Rescuers left Sunday night on foot and expected to reach the group Monday morning. Rain overnight hindered additional rescue efforts, but rangers hoped to send a helicopter to the site after daybreak, Manns said.


Sharkfin Tower's elevation is 8,120 feet. It is located along a ridge of peaks in the Boston Basin area, 90 miles northeast of Seattle. Mann said it's a popular climbing destination in the park.



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I've seen all the party members names, not sure if they have been released officially, so I'll let that be for now. Most of the folks are from the Seattle area. My friend (from Tacoma) was mentoring the climb, and since all the other names who might be the leader are from the Seattle area, I think it was a Seattle Mountaineers outing. I don't know that for sure. The injured party member is also a Tacoma mountaineer...not sure if it was already mentioned, but he has serious head injuries.


I'll miss my friend. She was a great person in the widest sense.

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This is very sad. My condolences to the family and friends of these folks.


Rockfall has been the cause of many, many accidents over the years in our Cascades. When I am in areas where rockfall is a potential hazard, I stay nervous until I get clear of the area. It's brutally unpredictable...

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Every time I hear of a climbing accident, it makes me very sad. It really affects, families, friends, the climbing community, etc. This accident is very hard to deal with since I am in involved with the Club on many levels--volunteering and work. My heart goes out to all of those involved.

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... everytime you hear stories like this, it makes you stop and think twice about why we're all pulled to the hills.

Good time to review our safety measures and risk tollerance.

The pull is a given and will not go away.

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Climbing in the mountains is inherently dangerous, a certain amount of risk (subjective and objective) can never be obviated. On the other hand, speed, safe systems, fitness, and experience reduce a lot of risk and can change what is a potential fatality into just a scary situation or close call.

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I guess if you are a climber, sooner or later it is going to happen to someone you know. The really hardcore climbers that go for the high stakes stuff all have a list of friends they have lost. For the rest of us, it is a less common, but all too possible occurance.


For me personally, even though I have been a climber for more than 30 years, this is the first time I have lost a friend to an climbing accident, and although it is hard to take, we know that those victims wouldn't want us to change a thing about our commitment to the hills, anymore than we would want them to change it if it were us instead of them.

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