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News / Northwest

Body of avalanche victim in Washington state recovered after being spotted by volunteer

By Associated Press
Published: May 30, 2023, 3:52pm

LEAVENWORTH — Search crews have recovered the body of a climber who was one of three killed in an avalanche on Washington’s Colchuck Peak in February.

A search-and-rescue volunteer was on a personal trip to the mountain Monday when he saw the remains of 60-year-old Jeannie Lee, of Bayside, New York, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office said.

The volunteer climbed to the top of Colchuck Glacier and called dispatchers, who sent a helicopter and two other volunteers to assist in the recovery.

Lee and two other climbers were killed Feb. 19 as they ascended a steep, snow-packed gulley on the 8,705-foot (2,653-meter) Colchuck Peak, about 70 miles (115 kilometers) east of Seattle, amid risky avalanche conditions. Another member of their party was caught up in the slide, but had minor injuries and was able to hike back down.

One of the victims, Seong Cho, 54, a Korean citizen residing in West Hartford, Connecticut, was located days later. But heavy snowfall helped prevent search teams from finding Lee or Yun Park, a 66-year-old man from Palisades Park, New Jersey.

Warm weather has melted much of the snow in the area recently, but there was still no sign of Park on Monday, the sheriff’s office said.