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 Jane Christensen on July 1, 2010 at 1:54pm
Oh so sad! I hope the corgi finds a good home also! Shows how loyal our corgis are! I think of this sometimes and wonder if Wynn would let anyone near me!

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