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Another Death at Baker

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
The incident took place fairly near where the last fatality happened. The difference is that this time the boarder was in bounds. The Chute is a very tight, steep run which bisects a cliff band. If this waterfall is the one I'm thinking of, it's almost directly under the chairlift.

Fall kills snowboarder at Baker

A 31-year-old Bellingham man died Monday at Mt. Baker Ski Area after he fell over a small cliff while snowboarding.
In a press release, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Deputy George Ratayczak said the man was described as an expert snowboarder who was boarding in bounds on an advanced-level run at the time of the accident.

The man’s name was not immediately released.

Ratayczak said the Ski Patrol contacted the sheriff’s office at about 5:30 p.m. Monday after a fruitless 90-minute search for the man, who was last seen alive at about noon as he was descending a run known as The Chute. A companion notified the Ski Patrol after checking the area and failing to find his friend.

The sheriff’s office mobilized Bellingham Mountain Rescue and the Bellingham Snowmobile Club, and at 7:10 p.m., rescuers found the man buried upside down in snow at the base of a waterfall, below a 10 to 15-foot cliff.

The Ski Patrol carried the body out for transport to the Whatcom County Medical Examiner.
post #2 of 3
First off, both fatalities happened inbounds. However the first one occured in side a double roped and well signed cliff area.

This fatality occured in an area that is frequently skied and dropped. Under normal conditions you can air into the area with out having to worry, but the recent snow-rain cycles combined with a early season snow pack is attributing to more sinc holes than what normally exist, as well as a lot of water moving threw and under the snow pack. Just becaus it is winter doesnt meen that the creeks dont stop flowing, and just because you know the mountian doesnt meen you should drop in blind in early season conditons.

Always look before you drop in as natrual hazards do exist, and can open at any time.
post #3 of 3
That sucks! Man, must have been a bad way to go.

This is why I will never ski real expert terrain without a buddy. You never know when something unexpected can happen. If that guy hadn't been alone, he probably would have been easily dug out.

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