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JERRY_SANCHEZ

Mt. Dickerman

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There has been another fatality on the popular hike on Mt. Dickerman. Does anyone know where this dangerous area is? I hiked up many times and only found the summit ridge to be dangerous.

 

 

10:09 PM PST on Monday, February 20, 2006

From KING 5 Staff and Wire Reports

 

GRANITE FALLS, Wash. - A hiker reported overdue near Mount Dickerman in Snohomish County was found dead Monday by searchers.

 

The sheriff's office says the man was reported overdue Sunday night and the body was found early Monday.

 

The man, a Snohomish County resident in his 50s, was found in rugged terrain and appeared to have fallen, although the cause of death has not been determined.

 

The man's name has not yet been released.

 

Mount Dickerman is near Granite Falls, northeast of Everett.

 

Several days ago, another man slipped and died in the same area.

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I think it's a traversy part around 4200 feet near some steeper cliffs and a deep gully. Maybe snow filled in the trail, so instead of walking on a sidewalk, you're traversing a ramp.

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I had a long story told over the weekend to me of another incident that happened to a son of one CC.com'r. Though I have not been on that particular trail it sounds like there is a good section near the top with a really bad runout.

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I think it's a traversy part around 4200 feet near some steeper cliffs and a deep gully. Maybe snow filled in the trail, so instead of walking on a sidewalk, you're traversing a ramp.

 

I think Gary's right. That's the only place I can think of where you could get in big trouble... other than collapsing a cornice on the ridge or something. At about 4200-4300 you traverse across that waterfall gully. You don't really want to slip there as you don't have a lot of room before the runout gets really bad. Other issue there when coming down is the tendency to do a descending traverse which puts you below the normal "trail" in rather steep sidehilling territory. Been guilty of that one before.

 

-kurt

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Yes, both of these people died in the exact same place my son had his accident in 1999. Basically, as Gary said, the snow slides down from the steep rock face above the gully and forms a steep slope. The snow is very hard packed there. My son's accident occurred in June, however. He was rescued by Snohomish County SAR and he has recovered fully.

 

People have a tendency to think of Mt. Dickerman as "just a hike" and fail to come prepared with ice axe and crampons. They reach that one spot and figure they can safely get across. If you slip there, it is really bad. In winter you will go until you hit a tree. In summer you will rocket off the edge of the snow and land on rocks.

 

I knew Dale Godsey. He was a good man. What a terrible waste of a precious life. frown.gif

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The 1991 deaths were a cross country high school team running down the trail. A switchback was missed and two teens died.

 

Dickerman is weird. The views are incredible, and it can get crowded even in winter. Summer of 1999 was the closest I ever came to planting my ice axe in a dog. Winter of 2000, I tweaked my back and was on IR for two years.

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Several of my best friends are members of Everett Mountain Rescue. These two tragedies have been very hard on them.

 

http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/06/02/22/100loc_a1hiking001.cfm

 

Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2006

 

Hiking alone in winter extremely risky

 

By Diana Hefley

Herald Writer

 

 

GRANITE FALLS - Even on a blue-sky summer day, Mount Dickerman can be a challenge for an experienced hiker.

 

In the winter, the trail to the summit can transform into a deadly route covered by a blanket of snow and thick, hard-crusted ice.

 

The mountain has claimed the lives of two experienced climbers in the past 11 days.

 

 

 

 

The body of Dennis Echterling of Snohomish was discovered Monday just 30 feet from where rescuers found Dale Godsey, another experienced mountaineer, on Feb 10.

 

Echterling fell about 600 feet down the same gully at about 3,500 feet elevation.

 

"We live in an area with beautiful mountains, but once you venture off the asphalt, it can be treacherous," said Scott Weldon, vice chairman of Everett Mountain Rescue.

 

Weldon was part of a team of volunteers that searched for Echterling, 52, after his family reported that he was overdue to return from a hike Sunday evening.

 

The 5,723-foot mountain isn't all that popular in the winter except with experienced climbers, rescuers said.

 

Both climbers were alone on the mountain, except for their dogs, which helped rescuers find the men.

 

"When you chose to hike alone, you chose a higher degree of risk," Weldon said. "Given their experience, I believe they were aware of the risk."

 

While there is an allure to experience the winter-washed scenery in solitude, it isn't recommended that climbers go alone, rescuers said.

 

"It's just (you) out there if you wind up slipping. It's not like slipping on the sidewalk; there's a real potential for a tragedy to happen," said Snohomish County sheriff's Sgt. Danny Wickstrom.

 

The trail is steep with a multitude of switchbacks. Two Everett teenagers fell to their deaths in 1991 when they ran off the trail during a school outing.

 

Rescuers often find themselves searching for hikers who get in over their heads because they don't have the proper equipment or they don't understand the hazards of the land.

 

"Just because the trailhead is there at the side of the road, it doesn't mean it's safe," Weldon said.

 

Lack of experience doesn't appear to be the case with these two men, who both were seasoned climbers and seemed well-equipped.

 

It just proves how unforgiving the mountain can be, rescuers said.

 

While a team followed Echterling's snowshoe tracks above the gully, another team spotted his dog, Cash, next to his body.

 

The Snohomish man died of blunt-force injuries from the fall, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office ruled Tuesday.

 

Search and rescue crews hurried to retrieve Echterling's body before daylight, when the sun would begin to melt the ice and create even more hazardous conditions.

 

The sheriff's helicopter crew eventually flew him off the mountain.

 

The mission weighed heavy on the dedicated volunteers. Just last week the group scrambled to find Godsey after a passing hiker heard the Lake Stevens man crying for help.

 

Godsey died before rescuers could reach him.

 

The volunteers risked their lives to save the men, Wickstrom said.

 

"When they couldn't do that, they did the next best thing. They brought them home to their families."

 

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or hefley@heraldnet.com.<br />

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I don't have specific info about these accidents, but I believe the elevation given in that news link is wrong, and the trouble area is actually the gully at 4200+ ft... not that it really matters. Sounds like CBS can confirm.

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I don't have specific info about these accidents, but I believe the elevation given in that news link is wrong, and the trouble area is actually the gully at 4200+ ft... not that it really matters. Sounds like CBS can confirm.
Knelson, you are correct. The gully lies beneath a very steep section of cliff. As shown by the Red Dot on this map.

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I don't have specific info about these accidents, but I believe the elevation given in that news link is wrong, and the trouble area is actually the gully at 4200+ ft... not that it really matters. Sounds like CBS can confirm.
Knelson, you are correct. The gully lies beneath a very steep section of cliff. As shown by the Red Dot on this map.

 

In the summer there is a nice waterfall there that empties into a pool. The winter trail tends to traverse below the waterfall a bit (at least the year I was last up there it did). In the summer the traverse is on rocks on a sidewalk-width trail. In the winter you're on a narrow, icy boot path over a steep slope.

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I was out early the day the second gentleman died...in fact he may have passed me on a mountain bike with his dog on the way up the road? Anyway, I was scouting out the Big-4 Dry Creek Route. It was VERY slippery ice conditions...ice axe was essential, but SO WERE CRAMPONS. In steep, icy conditions, the ice axe does little good if you can't get a decent foothold.

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