Three climbers from the tri-state area were killed Sunday in Washington state when they got caught up in the deadliest avalanche to hit the US this year.
The trio were among a group of six people attempting to scale part of Colchuck Peak when the lead climber triggered the snow slide, according to local authorities.
Four climbers were swept about 500 feet down the steep mountain, sheriff officials said.
The three who died were a 60-year-old New York woman, a 66-year-old man from New Jersey and a 53-year-old Connecticut man, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office said.
A 56-year-old man from New York sustained non-life threatening injuries and was able to get down to the base camp. Two other survivors weren’t hurt, the sheriff’s office said.
Once they reached the camp, a seventh hiker who stayed behind went for help.
That hiker was able to contact authorities by 8 a.m. Monday after trudging 8 miles in deep snow overnight, Chelan County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Reinfeld said.
Authorities said rescuers reached the base camp by the afternoon, but soon determined the avalanche conditions were too treacherous to attempt to recover the dead climbers. Instead the surviving climbers were brought back to the trailhead.
Rescuers were not deployed to the scene Tuesday because conditions continued to be too rough.
Reinfeld said three more avalanches crashed down after the first one, which means two of the climbers are buried.
The hikers had some mountaineering experience, but he did not know how much.
The names of the three climbers killed were not released Monday.
The avalanche was the deadliest in the country since four backcountry skiers were killed in a Utah avalanche two years ago.
With Post wires
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