[6/25/18] Hiking Tragedy: on Mount Stuart
A 32-year old male Seattle resident fell to his death while descending Mount Stuart
Sunday morning. A 911 cellular call to the Kittitas county dispatch center was received from the subject’s climbing partner at 11:47am reporting the fall. That call was relayed to the Chelan
County Sheriff’s Office.
The climbing partner informed SAR coordinators that his friend had successfully
summitted Mount Stuart earlier in the morning and had just begun his descent when he
lost his footing and slid several hundred feet down a steep slope landing in rocks.
Other climbers in the area eventually scrambled down to the area of the fallen climber
advising he was unresponsive.
Due to the high elevation (8,900 ft), search and rescue coordinators requested a hoist
capable helicopter via State Emergency Management.
Naval Airbase Whidbey Island accepted the mission and a Navy Blackhawk helicopter
crew responded. The aircraft was over the scene by 2:40pm, and it was confirmed that
the climber was deceased.
The body was hoisted from the scene and transported to SAR staging at the fish hatchery
in Leavenworth. The Navy crew returned to the mountain to hoist out the climbing
partner of the victim who stated he was not comfortable descending the mountain after
witnessing the accident.
Mount Stuart is the highest peak in the Stuart Range, and it is located south of Stevens
Pass and east of Snoqualmie Pass in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
The name of the deceased climber is being withheld at this time pending notification to
next of kin out of state.