A 45 year-old man is dead after getting caught in an avalanche on Saturday near Gallagher Head Lake in Washington State reports The Yakima Herald.
Mike Albertson of Kirkland, WA was snowmobiling with a partner when the avalanche struck. Albertson was completely buried by the slide while his partner’s arm and head were left above the snow surface. The partner was extracted by a separate group of snowmobilers, who then proceeded to search for Albertson. After roughly a half an hour of searching, they found Albertson’s body but attempts to revive the victim proved unsuccessful.
Search and rescue personnel were unable to extract the body until Sunday due to deteriorating weather.
Numerous serious avalanche involvements occurred in the Olympics and Washington Cascades Saturday, March 4th, Preliminary information includes: a snowmobiler fatality near Gallagher Head Lake, NE of Cle Elm Lake; a full burial and recovery in the Cedar Ck drainage, just east of Washington Pass; a 4-5 ft triggered wind slab on Mt Herman that fully and partially buried a separate party of three at the base of the slide; a triggered slide on a north aspect of Chair Peak in the Alpental Valley, resulting in a broken femur and requiring an organized rescue. Numerous other avalanche involvements occurred on Saturday as well.
This is a caution to remain in a conservative mode of travel in the backcountry until the recent storm snow stabilizes.
Find up-to-date avalanche advisories for the PNW here: Northwest Avalanche Center
*Our deepest condolences go out to the victim’s friends and family
Find the entire Yakima Herald article here: Snowmobiler killed by avalanche in remote area northwest of Cle Elum