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Clues to Fate of Two Mountaineers Lost in the Northern Cascades in 1947


Clues to fate of two mountaineers lost in the Northern Cascades in 1947. By referring to page 11 in the “Report of the Safety Committee of the American Alpine Club May, 1948,” one can read about a tragic accident which for several years has gone unexplained. Bones and other articles found this past summer by three University of Washington students have been identified as those of two Seattle youths who disappeared on Mount Index on 12 October 1947. The missing youths were Thomas Westphal and Richard Franklin, both 18 years of age when theyvanished. Parts of a camera found at the scene were identified as belonging to Westphal, and a belt buckle with the initial “F” was probably Franklin’s. Teeth with dental work done on them were later identified by a dentist as belonging to one of the boys. A description of the scene indicates that the victims had fallen from a cliff on the side of the peak.