American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Washington, Wenatchee National Forest — East Fork of Boulder Creek Above Timberline

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1957

Washington, Wenatchee National Forest—East Fork of Boulder Creek above Timber Line—On September 5, 1955 Clayton Ogle (35), a Forest Service trail crew cook, slipped on a 50 by 100 yard snow field below a rock cliff while traveling alone above Timber Line into a lake, located three miles from a trail. Carrying a heavy and bulky pack and not equipped with an ice axe, he slid the full length of the snow field and was killed when he struck the rocky ravine below. Ogle realized the danger of crossing the snow field since two days previously, with a companion, he had avoided the same snow field.

Source: Kenneth Wilson, in charge of the U. S. Forest Service search party which found Ogle’s body, and J. K. Blair, Forest Supervisor of Wenatchee National Forest; Vic Josendal.

Analysis: This accident illustrates the danger of climbing alone and of climbing on snow with a bulky pack without snow-climbing equipment and without knowledge of snow-climbing technique.

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