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notyetresolved
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PostFri Jun 14, 2019 11:03 am 
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Hello all,

I've been researching Mt. Si for a blog post that I am writing, and I haven't been able to find a clear answer on this. I was wondering if there's a list out there of all/most of the people who are known to have died or gone missing on Mt. Si? Or at least how common they are?
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puzzlr
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PostFri Jun 14, 2019 11:39 pm 
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Don't know of any list out there -- I probably would have found it by now. Here's some items to get you started:

1908_11_27 ST - Ralph Tanner shoots himself on Mount Si
1913_07_02 ST - Jack Malloy falls to death on Mt Si
1972_10_15 SMR - Martin Gallagher dies in the Black Canyon
1981_02_12 ST - It wasn't like Brett Hall to do a vanishing act, on Mount Si
1982_08_22 SMR - Richard White fall on north side of Mt Si Haystack
1983_02_08 ST - Body found on Mount Si is hiker missing since '81, Brett Hall
1985_02_10 Snowy Torrents 85-5 - Mount Si haystack avalanche kills Peter Vander Molen
2008_08_29 ST - Mount Si hiker dies; 2 stranded in Cascades
2012_02_15 SVR - Three die in nighttime plane crash on Mount Si
2013_01_03 Kurt Ruppert dies in wing suit jump by Mount Si
2015_06_26 ST - Public asked to help identify Mt. Si skeletal remains

ST: Seattle Times
SMR: Seattle Mountain Rescue (newsletter)
SVR: Snoqualmie Valley Recorder (and many other outlets reporting on the plane crash)

There are MANY more stories about rescues on Mt Si where no one died

The 1985 avalanche incident is surprising in that it happened on a peak where people never think of avalanches as a danger. From Snowy Torrents:

Quote:
Accident Summary

At 4,767 feet, and 25 miles east-southeast of Seattle, Mt. Si offers a close-by challenge for Seattle-area climbers. Peter Vander Molen, 27, and Brad Kingery, 22, were climbing near the top of the Haystack (the rock mound) at the top of Mt. Si. Both men were roped together. At about 1400 hours Vander Molen, in the lead, triggered a small slab avalanche that caught both climbers. Vander Molen was swept down the gully about a rope length (150 feet) and was slammed into a small tree. Kingery called out for his friend but got no answer. He downclimbed, following the rope, and found Vander Molen had sustained severe head injuries.

Kingery briefly tried to make his friend more comfortable before he left to get help. During the avalanche Kingery had suffered minor leg injuries but adrenaline powered him onward. He down climbed the route and raced to a nearby house to report the accident. Rescuers from the King County Sheriff's Department, Seattle Mountain Rescue Council, local ski patrols, and Explorer Search and Rescue responded. But they arrived too late. Vander Molen had succumbed to his injuries by the time the first rescuers reached him.

Avalanche Data


Little is known of the avalanche but rescuers estimated that the slab was 2-3 feet deep, and it had released in a narrow and very steep gully. In the gully where Vander Molen was leading the slope angle was estimated to be greater than 70.

Comments

Though this ill-fated climbing trip was undertaken in stormy-weather conditions, northwest climbers are used to much worse weather conditions. Even though the weather conditions were bearable the threat of avalanches was great. A fresh slab on any super-steep slope is a deadly combination even for roped climbers. As long as climbers and even backcountry skiers continue to tackle steep slopes during times of unstable snow conditions they will trigger avalanches.


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notyetresolved
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PostSat Jun 15, 2019 8:33 am 
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Thank you so much for the info puzzlr!
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thunderhead
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PostSat Jun 15, 2019 10:34 pm 
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Avy on si?  Interesting.  Sounds like it killed by obstacle impact and was rather small, but that's what happens on real steep terrain.
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Cyclopath
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PostSat Jun 15, 2019 11:40 pm 
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I'm not sure what's more surprising, that there was an avalanche on Si, or that somebody roped up to do Si.
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Sky Hiker
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PostMon Jun 17, 2019 5:55 am 
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Isn't that the truth
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Doppelganger
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PostMon Jun 17, 2019 7:47 am 
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puzzlr wrote:
2013_01_03 Kurt Ruppert dies in wing suit jump by Mount Si

Huh I thought that the remains found several years ago were from the wing suit flyer, but it sounds like they were older, some of the items are described at the bottom of the linked page below - I assume these are the same remains that are referenced in the 2015 6/26 ST story:

https://harrybipedhiking.com/2016/04/08/vanished-kurt-ruppert-jr/
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InFlight
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PostMon Jun 17, 2019 10:21 am 
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Occasional summer weekend day hikers that decide somewhat exposed scrambling is easily within their capability.  What could go wrong?

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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...  ― Henry David Thoreau
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car68
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PostMon Jun 17, 2019 6:12 pm 
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I know of 2 suicides on Little Si and another hiker that fell and died.  So add 3 more.

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kiliki
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PostWed Jun 19, 2019 12:47 pm 
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One thing we learned with some of the recent high profile missing persons cases is that public land management agencies don't keep comprehensive lists of missing persons over time. So you'd need to do your own sleuthing, though puzzlr got you off to a good start.

Suicides on public lands are not uncommon, but I doubt if you will be able to capture how often that happens.
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Ski
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PostWed Jun 19, 2019 2:07 pm 
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^ NPS tends to bury it. Bad news is bad for business.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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puzzlr
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PostWed Jun 19, 2019 5:12 pm 
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Doppelganger wrote:
I thought that the remains found several years ago were from the wing suit flyer

The only rumor I've heard is that someone wandering around in the north basin between Si and Blowdown found a rope/line similar to what base jumpers carry. This was long enough after the Ruppert missing case that authorities didn't want to start up the search again on flimsy evidence.

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Seventy2002
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PostWed Jun 19, 2019 8:27 pm 
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kiliki wrote:
Suicides on public lands are not uncommon, but I doubt if you will be able to capture how often that happens.

The date of death, manner of death, and location are recorded on death certificates.  At least in Washington that data is available from the Department of Health.  Geocoding the death locations might validate your hypothesis.
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