Climber’s death first of year

VERLOT — A Duvall climber slipped while on a snow field just below Monte Cristo Peak on Sunday and fell about 700 feet to her death.

The death of Lindsey White, 39, is the first climbing-related fatality in Snohomish County this year, Snohomish County sheriff’s Sgt. Danny Wikstrom said.

“It’s one too many,” he said. “Hopefully, it will be the last one.”

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner on Monday ruled White’s death an accident.

White was climbing to the 7,136-feet summit Sunday morning, with her boyfriend, also 39 from Duvall, Wikstrom said.

Around 10:30 a.m. the couple were crossing a 40-degree snow slope a few hundred feet below the peak. White lost her footing, and tried to use her ice axe to stop her fall, but the snow was too soft, Wikstrom said.

Her boyfriend told officials he watched her fall.

“He heard her scream and saw her sliding down the snow,” Wikstrom said.

The boyfriend was able to reach White but was unable to revive her. He then hiked about six hours to the ruins of the old Monte Cristo town where he alerted Forest Service rangers.

White was dead when sheriff’s officials found her at the bottom of a cliff. They hoisted her body away in a helicopter, Wikstrom said.

Sunday’s fatal fall wasn’t the first time a climber has died on Monte Cristo, he said. A few years ago a University of Washington professor was climbing solo when he died.

“It can be a dangerous sport,” Wikstrom said. “When something goes wrong it can be very unforgiving.”

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437, jholtz@heraldnet.com.

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