Body of climber who died in Twin Sisters fall recovered

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 23, 2014 

Rescue crews recovered the body of a Seattle mountain climber Sunday, June 22, after he died in a fall while climbing the Twin Sisters last week.

The climber was identified as James Patrick Millegan, 60, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.

Millegan fell Thursday while at the 6,300-foot level of the North Twin, a 6,600-foot peak southwest of Mount Baker. He and a partner were free climbing and not using any ropes or harnesses at the time, according to the sheriff's office.

His climbing partner trekked down to the 4,900-foot level to call 911 around noon Thursday. The partner said the man suffered a head injury in the fall but was alive at the time he left to call for help.

Mulligan died from blunt head and chest trauma sustained in the fall, said Whatcom County Medical Examiner Gary Goldfogel, who performed an autopsy Monday morning.

Search and rescue teams with the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office and Bellingham Mountain Rescue tried over several days to recover the body but were thwarted by cloudy weather. A helicopter was able to reach the area Sunday to recover Millegan's body.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com.

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