Body of Missing Snowboarder Found on Mt. Bachelor
Monday, March 4, 2002
Early Monday afternoon, the body of the 22-year-old snowboarder missing since February 9th was found on Central Oregon's Mount Bachelor.
Mount Bachelor Ski Patrol members found the woman buried vertically and head first in a deep tree well, covered by 8 to 10 feet of snow, on a steep portion of the ski resort's Northwest section.  The discovery was made approximately 1,300 feet and 490 vertical feet directly down the fall line from the point where the woman was last seen.
This was the same relative area where Portland Mountain Rescue, Deschutes County Search and Rescue, family, friends and many other volunteers concentrated their search during the 10 day period following her disappearance.  In fact, there was evidence that the tree itself had been probed at least once during the search effort.
Recent warm temperatures had melted and consolidated the thick snow pack enough to expose a tip of the woman's snowboard, as well as part of her boot.
According to Deschutes County Sheriff Les Stiles, she apparently lost control of her snowboard and fell head first into a deep tree well, subsequently being buried by a "very large block of snow and ice" that "dislodged during her fall and rolled in on top of her."  The Sheriff later revealed that the woman died of asphyxiation and not from an external trauma.
During the original search effort, the deep snow cover had prevented searchers from visually spotting her body and the woman's vertical position made for a probe target of only a few square inches, rather than square feet.
Top of Page
Return to the Headlines section.