New Jersey man dies while BASE jumping at Baring Mountain

He hit the side of the mountain. Search and rescue teams navigated difficult terrain to get to him.

INDEX — The body of a New Jersey man was recovered Friday after he suffered fatal injuries in a BASE jumping accident on Baring Mountain, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

Witnesses reported seeing two men BASE jump from a cliff around 12:30 p.m. Thursday. They saw the New Jersey man, 23, hit the side of the mountain before disappearing. A helicopter pilot with the sheriff’s office later found the man’s parachute on the north side of Baring Mountain, but couldn’t see the man.

The terrain, steep and covered in trees, was too difficult for ground teams on Thursday, so search and rescue crews made plans to go out on Friday, sheriff’s spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe said. From the Barclay Lake Trailhead, the challenging ascent to the peak gains about 3,500 feet in elevation, according to the Washington Trails Association.

Four volunteers with Everett Mountain Rescue were flown by helicopter and dropped off near where the parachute was found. They took hours to hike up to the location, O’Keefe said. They found the 23-year-old deceased.

His body was hoisted out and flown to Skykomish Airfield. His identity, as well as the cause and manner of his death, will be determined by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Standing at 6,125 feet high, Baring Mountain is a popular BASE jumping site and a place where people have died in the past.

In July 2010, a Bothell woman died when her parachute failed to open properly. A week later, another BASE jumper had to be rescued when his parachute lines snagged on a rocky outcropping. He said he was paying respects to his friend, the woman who died. It took 52 volunteers to get him down.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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