Forum Index > Trail Talk > Avalanche Accident Colchuck Peak 2/19, 3 reported killed
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HikingBex
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PostWed Feb 22, 2023 11:59 am 
RIP & best wishes to the family & loved ones of those involved. this happened on the 11th anniversary of the Tunnel Creek avalanche, I believe. what an incredibly tragic day

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rocknclimb
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PostWed Feb 22, 2023 1:48 pm 
NY Times piece about the accident. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/21/us/avalanche-deaths-washington.html?searchResultPosition=1 RIP climbers

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JimmyBob
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PostWed Feb 22, 2023 3:05 pm 
"The three survivors trekked down to their camp, but reaching the authorities proved difficult since the group had not brought a communication device or an emergency beacon." shakehead.gif

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HitTheTrail
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PostFri Feb 24, 2023 7:59 am 
From yesterday's Wenatchee paper If you can't make the link work here is the text: "LEAVENWORTH — Law enforcement on Wednesday identified the three people who died Sunday afternoon after a snow slide near Colchuck Lake. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office identified the avalanche victims as Seong Cho, a 54-year-old man from West Hartford, Connecticut, Jeannie Lee, a 60-year-old woman from Bayside, New York and Yun Park, a 66-year-old man from Palisades Park, New Jersey. Sheriff Mike Morrison said on Wednesday that no rescuers have been sent in to the avalanche scene near Colchuck Peak, according to a sheriff’s office news release. Two avalanche experts from the Northwest Avalanche Center have been deployed to the area to assess the current avalanche hazard. Local authorities have not recovered the bodies due to dangerous conditions on the mountain. A group of six were climbing the northeast couloir of Colchuck Peak when the lead climber triggered an avalanche, sweeping them about 500 feet downslope, according to the news release. Park and Lee were killed in the initial slide and then Cho died of severe injuries shortly after, according to the sheriff’s office. Another climber, a 56-year-old New York man was injured, but declined medical assistance, and two others, a 50-year-old New York man and a 36-year-old New Jersey man, were uninjured. Colchuck Peak is a 8,705-foot summit located in The Enchantments and is part of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness about 10 miles — via straightline — southwest of Leavenworth. The slide was North Central Washington’s deadliest since the 2012 Tunnel Creek avalanche on the backside of Stevens Pass that killed three Upper Valley men, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center. Statewide, it’s the deadliest since May 2014 when four clients and two guides were killed on Mt. Rainier’s Liberty Ridge."

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fourteen410
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PostFri Feb 24, 2023 1:00 pm 
Just saw on the SnoCo scanner that two hikers are getting rescued from Colchuck Lake today.

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hbb
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PostFri Feb 24, 2023 4:28 pm 
fourteen410 wrote:
Just saw on the SnoCo scanner that two hikers are getting rescued from Colchuck Lake today.
I saw that, but I couldn't tell if there were just 2 people in need of rescue, or 4: 07:17:08 |SAR |CHELAN CO / COLCHUCK LAKE AREA *SAR8, SOHK10*| REQ MT. RESCUE TO REPORT OF 2 MISSING AND 2 INJURED HIKERS

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dave allyn
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PostFri Feb 24, 2023 7:19 pm 
Press release from CCSO this afternoon says one body recovered by Snohomish county HRT.

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fourteen410
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PostFri Feb 24, 2023 8:16 pm 
dave allyn wrote:
Press release from CCSO this afternoon says one body recovered by Snohomish county HRT.
Hopefully not in addition to the Colchuck avy fatalities?

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rubywrangler
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PostFri Feb 24, 2023 9:38 pm 
It was one the avvy victims. **2/24/23 - Updated Chelan County Sheriff's Office Media Release** Sheriff Mike Morrison reports on February 24th, 2023 the body of Seong Cho, a Korean National residing in West Hartford Connecticut was recovered from the base of Colchuck Peak. Cho was one of three climbers killed in an avalanche on the afternoon of Sunday February 19th. Today was the first day weather conditions allowed air resources to fly into the area. Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Helicopter Rescue Team was able to locate Mr. Cho’s body under a thin layer of snow at the GPS coordinates provided by a surviving member of the climbing party. The body has been turned over to the Chelan County Coroner’s Office. Snohomish County HRT made additional search attempts for the remaining two climbers but they were not located. Part of the search included the use of a RECCO device mounted on a cable below the helicopter. This device can detect chips sewn into some outdoor gear and help provide a location of someone buried under avalanche debris. Ground teams will not be deployed to the area until conditions are safe.

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HitTheTrail
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PostSat Feb 25, 2023 6:37 am 
This from Wenatchee weekend paper Here is the text: "LEAVENWORTH — Rescuers have recovered the body of a Korean national who died in an avalanche Sunday on Colchuck Peak. Seong Cho, 54, of West Hartford, Connecticut found Friday under a thin layer of snow by a helicopter crew searching the area for the three climbers killed in the slide, said Rich Magnussen with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office. GPS coordinates were provided by a surviving member of the climbing party, helping the rescue team find Cho's body. Today was the first day weather conditions allowed for a helicopter to fly into the area, according to a sheriff's office news release Friday. Cho was located by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office by using a “RECCO device,” Magnussen said. The device detects RECCO transponders placed inside clothing by some outdoor apparel companies. Cho was hoisted from the area and turned over to the Chelan County Coroner. Conditions at the scene were too dangerous for rescuers to recover Cho on foot, Magnussen said. A member of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office was lowered by a hoist cable from a helicopter and remained attached while recovering the body. On Sunday a group of six hikers were climbing the northeast couloir of Colchuck peak when the lead climber triggered an avalanche, sweeping them about 500 feet downslope, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. Snohomish County crews searched for the remaining two climbers but could not locate them. The bodies of Jeannie Lee, 60, of Bayside, New York, and Yun Park, 66, of Palisades Park, New Jersey, aren’t expected to be recovered until there’s “significant” snowmelt, Magnussen said. Ground teams will not be deployed to the area until conditions are safe, according to the news release. Park and Lee were killed in the initial slide and then Cho, the third, died of severe injuries shortly after, Sgt. Jason Reinfeld said earlier this week. Colchuck Peak is a 8,705-foot summit located in The Enchantments, about 10 miles — in a straight line — from Leavenworth. About 20 inches of new snow had fallen since Sunday, said Sgt. Reinfeld on Thursday.

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Now I Fly
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PostFri Mar 24, 2023 8:36 am 
kiliki, awilsondc
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hikingpersonnw
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PostFri Mar 24, 2023 10:19 am 
Now I Fly wrote:
https://files.nwac.us/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/23113533/20230219-Colchuck-Peak-Accident_Final.pdf
From a climbing safety perspective, what could they done better? Helmets seem like a given but would being roped up or less people traveling at a time be helpful? Earlier start in the day?

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Schroder
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PostFri Mar 24, 2023 10:57 am 
hikingpersonnw wrote:
From a climbing safety perspective, what could they done better? Helmets seem like a given but would being roped up or less people traveling at a time be helpful? Earlier start in the day?
Not being there in those conditions; finding an alternate climb

idoru, Randito, hikerbiker, flatsqwerl, Tom, gb, ChinookPass, Snowdog, Alpine Pedestrian, RumiDude, Malachai Constant, JimmyBob
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kiliki
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PostFri Mar 24, 2023 3:19 pm 
Quote:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2023 10:19 am Now I Fly wrote: https://files.nwac.us/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/23113533/20230219-Colchuck-Peak-Accident_Final.pdf From a climbing safety perspective, what could they done better? Helmets seem like a given but would being roped up or less people traveling at a time be helpful? Earlier start in the day?
The report linked above has a Commentary / Discussion / Important Points section that covers this. It's succinct and will just take a minute to read.

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forest gnome
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PostFri Mar 24, 2023 5:04 pm 
Wasn't it an avie training or experience issue...no pits dug and some serious loading of slopes...over all a bad situation It would be good to hear from others in the party..or wait for the accidents in north American report? Knowledge of the previous 2 weeks of weather ?? Wast there a significant storm just previously? Ahh the above report looks interesting..good info

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