Deadly Avalanche: Body Of NY Climber Recovered Months After 3 Killed In Washington State

The body of a New York woman has finally been recovered months after she and two other climbers were killed in an avalanche in Washington State.

Colchuck Peak in the central Cascade Mountains of Washington State, about 70 miles east of Seattle.
Colchuck Peak in the central Cascade Mountains of Washington State, about 70 miles east of Seattle. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Laurel F

The incident happened on Feb. 19, in the central Cascade Mountains near Colchuck Lake, located 70 miles east of Seattle.

On Tuesday, May 30, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office announced that the body of 60-year-old Jeannie Lee, of Bayside, Queens, had been recovered.

Authorities identified the two others killed as Connecticut resident Seong Cho, age 54, a Korean national living in West Hartford, and 66-year-old Yun Park, of Palisades Park, New Jersey.

On the day after the avalanche, a 56-year-old Maryland man contacted deputies and said that six members of the group he was with had attempted to climb Colchuck Peak while he stayed behind at their base camp.

As the group was ascending a steep gully on the mountain, the lead climber triggered an avalanche, officials said. Four of the climbers were swept approximately 500 feet down the mountain, killing three of them.

The fourth climber, a 56-year-old New York man, suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to deputies. He was able to hike back to base camp with a 50-year-old New York man and 36-year-old New Jersey man who were not injured.

When the group arrived back at base camp, they sent the Maryland man for help.

Nearly two dozen rescuers from at least five different agencies responded, but they determined that avalanche conditions were too hazardous to try and reach the deceased climbers, sheriff’s officials said.

In their update on Tuesday, May 30, sheriff’s officials said a Chelan County Mountain Rescue volunteer was hiking in the area when he spotted Lee’s body the day before.

Snow in the area has melted significantly due to recent warm weather.

The volunteer hiked to the top of Colchuck Glacier and was able to place a call to emergency dispatchers, who sent a sheriff’s office helicopter to the scene.

Lee’s body was turned over to the Chelan County Coroner’s Office for official identification and cause of death, the sheriff’s office said.

Rescuers had still not located Park’s body as of Tuesday afternoon, citing dangerous conditions preventing a thorough search. 

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