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Stephanie Subak Accident at Jigsaw Pass


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Wow -so sad, condolences to her loved ones.

Jigsaw Pass SAR

On August 5th at about 5:20pm, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified through CalOES of a SPOT device activation near Jigsaw Pass. The activation was followed by a message asking for a helicopter for an immediate evacuation due to an injury. A short time later another message was sent saying, “fatality.” Two Inyo County SAR members responded to the coordinates of the SPOT activation.


On August 6th at about 7:00am, CHP H-80 arrived and with the assistance of the Inyo County SAR team, H-80 was able to recover the body of Stephanie Subak (58 years old from Seattle, WA) and transport her to the Sheriff’s Posse Hut near the Bishop airport, where she was then driven to Brune Mortuary.


Interviews conducted with her hiking friends who were with her at the time of the accident indicated that Subak was descending down Jigsaw Pass when a rock that she grabbed onto gave way, causing her to tumble about 40 feet down a chute. Once Subak’s partners got to her, she was unconscious but breathing; she passed away about an hour later. According to the coroner Subak sustained multiple traumatic injuries that caused her death.


The Inyo County Sheriff's Office extends our sincere condolences to Subak's family and friends during this very difficult time. We also would like to thank the Inyo County SAR team and H-80 for their response efforts.

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Stephanie Subak is my wife. We were married in 1983.


I posted the following message on Facebook yesterday, and re-posted it on turns-all-year this morning. Seems like I should post here as well....




Stephanie Jeanne Subak, 12/13/1956 - 8/5/2015


As the news spreads, I sense in those who knew Steph a desire to reach out, but a reluctance to overwhelm her family. Maybe this forum can help.


On August 5, my wife Steph died in a fall during a cross-country backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada of California. She was with her friends Annette, Martha and Suze, who thankfully were not injured. Husbands Jens, Mike, and Steve have flown to California to support their wives. We are working through the logistics to bring Steph home.


Tom and I are well, we are strong, and we are working through this. Steph was dearly loved in several circles--by her outdoor companions, her friends in the engineering world, the parents we've come to know through Tom's school, and her family. I want to reach out to all of you, and let you know how much we appreciate the friendship you have given to Steph.


I am certain there will be a gathering in Seattle to celebrate Steph's life. No details have been settled yet, but we'll definitely be doing that. I'll pass the word when we know more.


In the meantime, you are welcome to post your thoughts and memories of Steph here. If you would like to send a private message, I recommend that you send me an email. (If you can't find my email address, send me a CC.com private message, and I'll reply with my address.)


Steph was our rock. Tom and I have been blessed.


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To be published in the Seattle Times on Sunday, August 16, 2015:


Stephanie Jeanne Subak, 58, died August 5, 2015 in a fall while hiking in the Sierra Nevada of California. She was accompanied by dear friends Annette Frahm, Martha Gluck, and Suze Woolf, of Seattle, WA, who fortunately were not injured.


Steph was born on December 13, 1956, in Minneapolis, MN, where she graduated from St. Anthony Village High School and briefly attended the University of Minnesota. She moved to Seattle to continue her studies at the University of Washington. Steph earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from UW in 1979.


Around 1980, Steph joined John Fluke Mfg. Co. Inc. of Mountlake Terrace, WA (later Fluke Corporation) as an Electrical Design Engineer. At Fluke she met and secretly courted Lowell Skoog, another Design Engineer and UW graduate. They were married on September 17, 1983. With a few short breaks, Steph worked at Fluke until September 2014. Her career spanned several technical and management levels to become Director of Engineering for the Industrial Products Group. Steph was a leader in the company and a mentor to younger engineers, universally admired for her warmth, intelligence, humor, energy and generosity.


Always active and athletic, Steph deepened her love of the outdoors through adventures with her husband Lowell. She became an alpine ski instructor, achieving PSIA Level 3 certification. She climbed and/or skied hundreds of peaks in the Cascades and Olympics, including all of the Cascade volcanos. In 1991, she learned to fly paragliders, becoming one of the earliest women in Washington to take up that sport. With her husband and friends, she traveled to India, Nepal, Peru, New Zealand, Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, and beyond, to tour, climb and ski.


In 1996, Steph and Lowell were blessed with the birth of their son Thomas. Steph was a loving and devoted mother, always engaged and supportive as she guided (but never pushed) Tom to discover new skills and activities. She savored family trips throughout the world, but especially to her birthplace in Minnesota, where she enjoyed snowy winters in Minneapolis and crystalline summers on Lake Vermilion with her extended family. In 2014-15, Steph took a sabbatical from Fluke to spend more time with her mother and to volunteer as chairwoman of the Roosevelt High Jazz Boosters during Tom’s senior year in high school. In the process, Steph deepened her friendships within the wonderful Roosevelt parent community.


Steph was preceded in death by her father Nick Subak of Minneapolis, MN. She is survived by her husband, Lowell Skoog, and son, Tom Skoog, both of Seattle, WA; mother, Barbara Subak, brother, Brad Subak, and sister, Laura Subak (husband, John Moore), all of Minneapolis. Steph was a loving sister-in-law to Lawrence Skoog (deceased), R. Philip Skoog (wife, Jan Skoog), Anita Skoog Neil (husband, Bill Neil), Gordy Skoog (partner, Kim O'Farrell), and Carl Skoog (deceased), all of the greater Seattle area. She was a cherished aunt to Courtney Cross (Philip), Wendy Gerber and Julie Iriondo; Dana Skoog Questad and Erik Skoog (Gordy), and Nick and Rose Moore (Laura).


A celebration of Steph’s life will be held Saturday, August 29, 2015, at 1 p.m. at The Mountaineers, 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to United Way of Snohomish County (http://www.uwsc.org/).



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Lowell, I'm amazed with how well you are handling all this with all the grieving you must be doing. I personally would be super devastated to lose my wife, to the point where I can't even imagine it, so I'm sure this is super tough for you. You have always been a great example and asset to the climbing community, and we are all super sorry for this loss. I never met her, but I wish I had.

If there is anything I can do to help you through this, no matter how small, please let me know.



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To Lowell and all Stephanie's Family, my deepest and sincere condolences. I am late to the news, and so sorry to hear it. Though I haven't seen Stephanie in several years, I admire and remember well her energy, smile, physical and mental strength and big heart. We are all better for having known her.

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