The King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) said Wednesday, September 10, 2014, that a male victim of a deadly weekend climbing accident on Mount Garfield is believed to be an experienced climber, and a North Bend resident in his 30’s.
KCSO Sergeant DB Gates said the man, identified by the Kitsap Sun as Ross Halverson, was climbing with a female partner when he fell (an unknown distance) to his death. The climbing partner was able to make it out of the area Monday morning and report the accident to authorities.
Search and rescue crews worked since the time of the report – battling terrain, closed roads and uncooperative weather – to reach the remote location of the accident along the Infinite Bliss climbing route, a 23-pitch rock climb.
Sgt. Gates said Seattle Mountain Rescue deployed a small team to climb several pitches of the route to find the fallen climber. They located him around 11AM, September 10th, and performed the technical rescue to bring the him down the mountain. Explorer Search and Rescue volunteers helped complete the recovery mission on foot, which took most of Wednesday afternoon.
Mount Garfield is located in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness/ North-Middle Fork area of the Snoqualmie Valley near North Bend – off I-90 exit 34. It’s approximately 5,500 feet in elevation.