Updated Release 06/05/2017 6:13pm
On Monday June 5th Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) personnel worked with Sheriff’s Office deputies to attempt to locate the body of Benjamin Gore, the 19-year old subject involved in the glissading accident on Sunday afternoon. A team of five CCMR and one deputy were flown to the top of Asgaard Pass and then descended on foot to the hole in the snow where Gore disappeared. A deputy attached to a belay line was used to access the hole as far as was deemed safe. There was no sign of Gore and the view was obstructed by the high flow of water under the snow. It is estimated the hard snow pack at the scene is approximately 25 to 30 feet deep. The hole has been formed by a waterfall of snow melt runoff which exits the snow above a large rock and then creates the hole in the snow below the rock. At this time, the amount of snow is preventing rescuers from accessing the area below the snow pack. Search and rescue coordinators may need to wait several weeks for an opportunity to make an actual recovery of Gore’s body. The family has been notified and understands the situation.
Original Release 06/04/2017
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a glissading accident has likely claimed the life of a 19-year old Mercer Island, WA man Saturday afternoon. The incident was initially reported at 5:01pm and occurred below the summit of Asgaard Pass between Colchuck Peak and Dragontail Mountain. A satellite text message had been relayed to the Washington State Department of Emergency Management’s duty officer stating there had been an accident in which a male subject had fallen into a hole and disappeared under the snowpack. GPS coordinates were included in the message, but no other information was available.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue coordinators began notifying mountain rescue members to respond. A Lifeflight medical helicopter was available to assist with an initial check of the coordinates in the Asgaard Pass area. A hoist equipped helicopter was requested from the State. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office “SnoHawk-10” helicopter assisted with the search and rescue effort.
All attempts to locate the subject in the hole, which runs well below the deep snowpack were unsuccessful. Search efforts were suspended due to darkness at approximately 8:30pm. A search will continue on Monday morning. The victim’s name is being withheld pending next of kin notification.
The initial report is that the 19-year old was with one other subject as they were both attempting to glissade down the snow field from the summit of Asgaard Pass to the glacier area below. Glissading is the act of intentionally descending down a steep slope in a controlled slide on a person’s feet or buttocks. It routinely involves the use of an ice-axe or similar device to assist in controlling the slide. Glissading is a high-risk activity due to the unforeseen dangers (such as holes or crevasses) in the snow path. Inquires reference this medial release can be made to Sergeant Kent Sisson.