Authorities revealed that a 66-year-old man from New Jersey was one of three climbers killed in an avalanche in Washington State.
According to the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, the event occurred Sunday afternoon, February 19, in the central Cascade Mountains near Colchuck Lake, which is 70 miles east of Seattle.
Yun Park, a resident of Palisades Park in Bergen County, was confirmed to be among the deceased.
A 56-year-old man from Maryland contacted authorities on Monday, February 20, to report that six members of his group had attempted to climb Colchuck Peak the previous day, while he remained at their base camp.
As the party ascended a mountain’s steep valley, the lead climber sparked an avalanche, according to officials. Three of the four climbers were killed as they were swept approximately 500 feet down the mountain.
Police named the victims as a 60-year-old New York woman, a 66-year-old New Jersey man, and a 53-year-old Connecticut male.
The fourth climber, a 56-year-old guy from New York, reportedly had non-life-threatening injuries. He was able to hike back to base camp with an uninjured 50-year-old New Yorker and 36-year-old New Jerseyan.
When the group returned to base camp, they dispatched the Maryland man for assistance.
Around two dozen rescuers from at least five different agencies arrived at the base camp on Monday afternoon, but it was deemed too dangerous to attempt to reach the deceased climbers due to avalanche conditions, according to sheriff’s officials. They returned the surviving climbers to the trailhead with them.
Wednesday, February 22, rescuers were again kept away from the location because conditions remained risky. The sheriff’s office reported that it was cooperating with the Northwest Avalanche Center on a strategy to collect the remains of the climbers.