Hiker found dead with faithful corgi at his side.


A Seattle solo hiker has found dead after an apparent fall off a cliff or steep slope. His faithful corgi, Ernie, was waiting at his side when searchers found them. The report states he fell while walking in the dark -- I don't see how they could know that, unless he had his headlamp out.

I have never owned a TV, so when I see commercial TV media, it is shocking. This report opens with a sensationalist shot of an imposing rock peak totally unrepresentative of the terrain involved, and omits the most important info for hikers: what kind of terrain was the fall on? Snow? or a bare cliff? There was no photography of the actual accident scene. They had to rush the story out before all the facts were in, I guess. But thank you, KING-5, for keeping your paparazzi hellcopter out of our mountains.

While looking for this story, I found a similar 2006 incident wherein a man fell on Mt. Dickerman and his corgi, Zippy's, barking alerted a passerby. That accident was fatal also. 2 weeks later, another solo hiker, also with a dog, died in the same
place. I think I know where exactly where it was; it claimed 2 other lives in 1991.

This is kind of sobering to me, because I do this stuff all the time in more remote and difficult terrain, and my standard procedure is to hike out late, in the dark. I do know at least one trail that cruises flat
and fast and takes an abrupt 90-degree turn at a steep dropoff. I did an unplanned somersault once, in the dark. But it's hard for me to imagine a fall like this, unless it was a snow slope. It is very easy for non-climbers to underestimate the danger of steep snow (that's what an ice axe is for, and mine did me little good when I broke my ankle).

My heart goes out to the man's family and friends. Ernie is adorable. I hope he finds a good home soon.

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Comment by Sam Tsang on July 2, 2010 at 12:12pm
tragic :( John, you made my heart skipped a beat when I heard the words, hiker + corgi and Seattle.
Comment by Geri & Sidney on July 2, 2010 at 1:22am
What a sad and tragic story. What a good boy Ernie is, and I wonder like Stephanie did, how Ernie got down to the hiker. PLease be careful out there, John.
Comment by Carol Rea on July 1, 2010 at 10:12pm
What a sad story! John, I do not know you, but do be careful out there! This story shows just how loyal our corgis are, I hope Ernie finds a good home.
Comment by Stephanie on July 1, 2010 at 9:02pm
John, any idea how the corgi got down to him? I think it's amazing not only that the dog stayed with him, but that the dog found his way down that steep face after he fell.
Comment by Bax & Zigs & Rosie on July 1, 2010 at 4:34pm
That is such a sad story! Someone in the comments on the news site said that Ernie was the victim's sister's dog, so he might not need to find a home.
Comment by Stanley & Charlotte on July 1, 2010 at 4:18pm
This story just breaks my heart.
Comment by RILEY, MAGGIE and Christine Kemp on July 1, 2010 at 3:11pm
My heart stopped for a second as I started to read you post!!! Accidents do happen...good for Ernie, a loyal companion to the end :(
Comment by Kelli & Penny on July 1, 2010 at 2:42pm
Such a sad story.
Comment by Bev Levy on July 1, 2010 at 2:39pm
Wow what a sad story! Hope you are really careful out there, John.
Comment by Natalie, Lance &Tucker on July 1, 2010 at 2:38pm
Very sad, indeed!! I hope Ernie finds a good home as well. Stay safe!!!

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