Searchers Find Missing Hiker Deceased on Granite Mountain, Possible Victim of Avalanche


If you heard helicopters over the Snoqualmie Valley on Friday, January 1, 2016, it was the King County Sheriff’s Office image1(KCSO) Guardian 1 responding to a search and rescue mission on Granite Mountain, about 15 miles east of North Bend near I-90 exit 47.

64-year Doug Walker went missing on Thursday, December 31st while hiking with friends. According to KCSO Sergeant Cindi West, Walker was very experienced and well-equipped for the hiking excursion.

KCSO said the group of friends had been hiking together when Walker became separated. His friends called police around 5PM New Year’s Eve last when he did not show up at the trailhead.

About 60 search and rescue members from the King County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit, Seattle Mountain Rescue, Everett Mountain Rescue, Olympic Mountain Rescue, Snohomish County Search and Rescue, King County 4×4 Search and Rescue and King County Guardian 1, searched for the man all night

Unfortunately, around 11:30AM January 1st, KCSO stated that Walker was found deceased. He was located in a debris field about two miles up the mountain just before 10:30AM.

Search members believe he may have been caught in an avalanche due to being found in a debris field consistent with an avalanche. King County SAR leaders said it will take a group of team members about four hours to bring him down the mountain.

Walker is descried as a civic leader. King County Executive Dow Constantine mourned Walker’s loss and released this statement:

“We’ve lost a great civic leader, conservationist, and philanthropist who had a passion for the outdoors, and instilled that same passion in others. Doug brought a boundless energy to everything he tackled, from climbing the highest peaks to connecting the high-tech community to environmental preservation. My thoughts are with his wife Maggie and their daughter Kina.”

The King County Search and Rescue Unit has had five search and rescue calls over the last few days. They want to remind people who are backcountry hiking or skiing to be aware of avalanche dangers and to be properly dressed and well equipped to spend the night if necessary.

search granite mt.

 

Photo: google maps screenshot

Photo: google maps screenshot

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Thank you for reporting this, for far to long the efforts of volunteer SAR workers has gone unnoticed and unreported locally in the media.

    • Appreciate your thank you. We, here in the Snoqualmie Valley are very aware of the bravery and dedication of the volunteer SAR workers. We notice them consistently as they race to save those lost, in trouble or unfortunately bring them off the mountain for their last time. Every time we hear a helo overhead our thoughts immediately got out to those SAR Men and Women and their families. They are not there alone that is for sure..

  2. Stephen Kangas says

    I took my family to play in the snow at Granite Mtn area this afternoon, and ran into the army of Search And Rescue (SAR) folks there who had evacuated & blocked off the Denny Creek Rd and Granite Mtn trailhead parking lot. A couple of my friends with KCSAR 4×4 were there, but couldn’t tell me about the details. Q13 News arrived when I did, and shortly thereafter the Medical Examiner, which is never a good sign. After returning home, I found the news on Q13 that the victim was Doug Walker, an old friend from Seattle. Doug was one of the co-founders of Walker Richer Quinn (WRQ), a hi-tech products company in Seattle that was later acquired after tremendous growth success during the 1990s. Doug Walker retired and was active as a director and former chairman of REI (Recreational Equipment Inc), and a philanthropist primarily interested in promoting wild lands conservation. I first met Doug about 1996 during a CEO conference, but many meetings after where I got to know his heart. He was a great guy, and I’m much saddened by this tragic accident.

  3. Thank you for everyone who involved in this rescue! God bless you all!
    Rest in peace Doug!
    Deepest condolences for family and friends

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