Detailed Accident Report
Submitted By: Craig Wilbour; WSDOT
Place: Mountains North of Cle Elum, WA
Summary: 1 snowmobiler caught, buried, and killed
An local snow mobiler is reported to have died in an avalanche yesterday, 2-17-01, in the mountains North of Cle Elum,
Washington. This is about 30 miles East of Snoqualmie Pass. He was apparently high marking and got stuck. A buddy
came up and helped him dig his machine out. Early reports are that the whole NE aspect of the basin released to the ground
as they both started to ride down hill. It was reported that there was rock in the debris.
One out ran the slide, and the other hit a tree before being buried. The Kittitas
County Sheriff SAR coordinator said he has ridden in the area many times and said that it slides big at least once a winter.
He said that he was not surprised that an accident happened at this location. The victim was reported to not be wearing a
transceiver. His body was apparently located about midnight last night.
The mountains in this area are colder, dryer and a bit higher than Snoqualmie Pass. We suspect that the avalanche failed
early season facets. We will pass on snow pack info and particulars as they become available.