Sedro Woolley, WA – Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - On Sunday, September 15, 2013, the body of a 31-year-old climber from Seattle was recovered in North Cascades National Park by NPS rangers, supported by a contracted helicopter from HiLine Helicopters out of Darrington, WA.
On the afternoon of September 14, 2013 the climber had summited Forbidden Peak via the West Ridge with his climbing partner and was descending when the accident occurred at 5:30 pm. Multiple parties were also on the West Ridge route of Forbidden Peak. During the descent of a commonly-used gully using a series of rappels, the climber was hit by a falling rock, which triggered his fall of approximately 300 feet to a rock/glacier moat. The climber was not anchored to the mountain when hit by the rock. His partner was not injured in the incident. Other climbers who had completed the climb witnessed the fall, and hiked out from Boston Basin, notifying rangers at 10:30 pm. The fallen climber’s partner was assisted in the completion of the descent by another climbing party.
The following morning, after complications of fog and an incoming weather system, park rangers completed the recovery via helicopter extraction by mid-day.
The 8815’ Forbidden Peak is among the most popular mountaineering objectives in North Cascades National Park, with several known summit routes. The West Ridge route gained notoriety when featured in the climbing guidebook “Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.” (Roper/Steck, 1979)