Forum Index > Trail Talk > SAR Incident on Three Queens / Spectacle Lake 8/31 and 9/1
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MesiJezi
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PostMon Sep 02, 2019 3:10 pm 
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Camped at Spectacle lake this weekend and witnessed an extended effort to locate and extract someone from the gully between the middle and the west peak of Three Queens. I'm not sure what happened, but it didn't look like a place you'd want to be on purpose. Lots of speculation and rumors, so I won't report any other details, just know a SAR team was inserted at Spectacle on Saturday night via Whidbey island chopper and they extracted someone from the mountain on Sunday morning via chopper after two attempts. Our prayers were with the team and the missing person Saturday and Sunday. 🙏
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Windstorm
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 1:16 pm 
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From Kittitas County Sheriff's Facebook page:

Kittitas County Press Release
Sheriff
Overdue hiker in Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Kittitas County, WA - 08/31/2019 - Sean Mortensen, a 19 year old from Spokane fell to his death in the area of Three Queens. Sean had left his hiking partners on the morning of August 30th to go for a day hike. Unfortunately Sean did not return and his body was located on September 1st.

On 08-31-19 at approximately 1257pm Kittitas County Sheriffs Deputyís along with Search and Rescue personnel responded the area of Spectacle Lake which is located in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area approximately 25 miles north of Cle Elum for the report of an overdue hiker. Sean Mortensen, a 19 YOA subject from Spokane, had hiked into Spectacle Lake with his brother and another friend. At approximately 945 am on the morning of the 30th Sean advised his brother that he was going to take a day hike towards Three Queens, which is located to the northeast of Spectacle Lake. Sean estimated that he would be gone for approximately 2 hours. When Sean had not returned by approximately 5PM Seanís brother and friend began to search the area and were unable to locate Sean. On the morning of 08-31-19 Sean still had not returned and his brother decided to hike out to the trailhead and get help.

Due to the remoteness of the area and the extremely rugged terrain, assistance was requested from Naval Air Station Whidbey to assist with the search. At approximately 800 pm on the night of the 31st Sheriff's Office personnel and a team from Kittitas County Search and Rescue were flown to Spectacle Lake by a NAS Whidbey search and rescue helicopter. A search was attempted on the night of the 31st but due to darkness and the safety of the searchers, efforts were suspended.

The search resumed at daylight on 09-01-19 and with the assistance of NAS Whidbey, Sean was located in the area of Three Queens at the base of a steep talus slope. It appears that Sean fell approximately 150 feet and came to rest at the base of the slope.

The Sheriff's Office extends our deepest condolences to Sean's friends and family. It is our hope the community remembers that this is a tragic loss of life, and that Monday morning quarterbacking of decisions made is not appropriate or productive.

Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us

###

https://www.facebook.com/KittitasCountySheriff/posts/1374312879394450
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Schenk
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Joined: 16 Apr 2012
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 1:55 pm 
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Rest in Peace Sean, Rest in Peace.

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Nature exists with a stark indifference to humans' situation.
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DigitalJanitor
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 4:59 pm 
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Ug, just gutting. RIP Sean, and peace to his family and friends also.

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~Mom jeans on wheels
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MesiJezi
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 6:28 pm 
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😟

Dang it. Incredibly sad. I feel terrible for the family.
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D. Inscho
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 7:23 pm 
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Thanks for the info.  I watched this with grim inevitability from Vista lakes near Summit Chief Saturday and Sunday; it seemed like a recovery operation frown.gif

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The key to a successful trip is to do the planning during work hours.       --  John Muir
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schifferj
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 11:35 am 
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There was an article in the Spokane newspaper (Spokesman-Review. The persons that were hiking with the victim witnessed a rockslide in which he was caught. Whether he was the cause of the slide or just happened to be there when it happened is not known. Whatever, it is a very sad situation.
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iron
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getting old
PostWed Sep 04, 2019 1:50 pm 
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frown.gif

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

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Tom
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 2:29 pm 
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Sounds like Sean was an adventurer.  From Spectacle lake I'd venture to guess he was attempting 6168' which looks reasonable on the topo but may have been lured by something more challenging.  Rest is peace Sean.
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forest gnome
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Joined: 24 Apr 2003
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 8:38 am 
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ahh..the rule of separation...partner couldn't of helped even if there..loose rock slide .....

sounds like he was adventures and inspirational to others!
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Forum Index > Trail Talk > SAR Incident on Three Queens / Spectacle Lake 8/31 and 9/1
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