Seattle climber dies after fall on Forbidden Peak in North Cascades National Park

THE NEWS TRIBUNE (TACOMA)September 17, 2013 

A climber on the West Ridge of Forbidden Peak. (Courtesy of National Park Service)

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The body of a 31-year-old climber from Seattle was recovered Sunday after falling 300 feet on Forbidden Peak the day before in North Cascades National Park, northeast of Mount Vernon, according to a press release sent out Tuesday morning.

According to park rangers, Tyler Barton had summitted Forbidden Peak via the West Ridge with his climbing partner Saturday and was descending when the accident occurred at 5:30 pm.

There were multiple parties also on the West Ridge route, and during the descent of a commonly-used gully using a series of rappels, Barton was hit by a falling rock.

Barton was not anchored to the mountain when hit by the rock, and he fell approximately 300 feet to a rock/glacier moat.  

Other climbers who had completed the climb saw the accident, and hiked out from Boston Basin, notifying rangers at 10:30 pm.  Barton's partner completed the descent with assistance from another climbing party.

On Sunday morning morning, after complications of fog and an incoming weather system, park rangers completed the recovery via helicopter extraction by mid-day. The rangers worked with a contracted helicopter from HiLine Helicopters based in Darrington.

The 8,815-foot Forbidden Peak is among the most popular mountaineering spots in the park, with several known summit routes. The West Ridge route gained notoriety when featured in the climbing guidebook “Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.”

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