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Northern Cascades, Washington: (1) Mt. Shuksan

Northern Cascades, Washington: (1) Mt. Shuksan. On 7 August 1948 R. Koenig (18), K. Barr and a companion, returning from a climb of Mt. Shuksan, were at the bottom of Fisher’s Chimney. They were standing on a small snow field, planning a climb of Mt. Baker for the next week end. Without thinking, Koenig stepped backwards and broke through the snow where it had thawed too thin from the underside—an area of danger previously recognized. He fell about six feet, and fractured both bones of one leg.

Sources of information: newspaper account, and local information.

Analysis. Apart from the act of stepping inadvertently on a place already recognized as dangerous, no climbing tactics were involved. The men were seasoned employees of the USFS, considered safe and reliable mountain men. The accident further demonstrates the need for constant alertness, even in the best of climbers.