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'The community that knew him is like family,' and now they're stepping up like one

A friend remembers snowmobiler Luke Rohde

Lucas K. Rohde, 27, died in an avalanche near Mount Baker on March 10.
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Lucas K. Rohde, 27, died in an avalanche near Mount Baker on March 10.

Facebook is flooded with memories of semi-professional snowmobiler Lucas K. Rohde, who was killed in an avalanche Saturday near Mount Baker, and a gofundme effort to raise money for his memorial has already far exceeded its goal.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Luke Rohde Memorial on gofundme.com had 209 likes and had secured 194 donations totaling $25,580 — more than $10,000 above its stated goal of $15,000. The page was started by Edmonds' Adam Karcz.

"Luke is loved by so many of us," Karcz wrote on the memorial page. "He filled all of our lives with love, compassion and a smile. He was the best companion, friend and son we all could ask for. We lost Luke to doing what he loved the most. We all know how hard this time is for his family, so if you can help in any way it is much appreciated."

Karcz was far from the only person to take to the internet to express heartfelt sentiments over the death of the 27-year-old from Edmonds.

Duncan Lee, who described himself friend who would share "epic times" in his post Wednesday wrote, "Being an avalanche educator, this hits me with so many questions, and I want to understand what went down so perhaps we can all learn from this very unfortunate situation. But more importantly I am feeling sad that Luke is no longer here to shred, laugh, and live this life with all of us. The community that knew him is like family, and the support from everyone through this is amazing."

Here's what some others had to say:

According to a Northwest Avalanche Center in Seattle report, Rohde "triggered and was caught, carried and killed in a large slab avalanche on Park Butte in the Mount Baker National Recreation Area. The avalanche was triggered just below the summit on a northeast aspect near 5,400 feet.”

Rohde also wrote about snowmobiling for Mountain Sledder magazine and appeared in the 2013 snowmobiling documentary “Counter Balance,” available on iTunes.

His death is at least the seventh reported avalanche death in Washington state in 2018, according to media reports.

In addition, three snowboarders have been reported missing in Whatcom County since November 2017. After extensive search operations, all are presumed dead.

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