The body of a 21-year-old Julia Rutherford of Eatonville was recovered Sunday night after she fell down a snow face on Aasgard Pass earlier in the day.
Her body was recovered sometime before 10 p.m. and flown out of the wilderness area by a Whidbey Island Naval Airbase helicopter.
The woman was hiking with her boyfriend and two other companions when she slid down the snow face, disappearing over the edge into an opening about 5 feet wide, said Lt. Maria Agnew of the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office in a press release.
The woman “screamed and her boyfriend went to her aid when he saw a 45-degree cut under the snow pack that led into a crevasse with a large volume of water running under the snow pack,” .
By late Sunday afternoon, at least 30 people were taking part in the search. Teams are from Chelan, King and Snohomish counties and the U.S. Forest Service, as well as the helicopter crew from from the Whidbey island Naval Air Base.
Rutherford’s body was found 50 feet down inside the cravasse. She was alive after she fell and was seen clinging to rocks in the water. However, she was deceased when a rescuer from the naval helicopter was winched down to her.
Aasgaard Pass, which rises out of Colchuck Lake, is one of the main routes into the Enchantment Lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Late last week Forest officials issued warnings to hikers that, because of the cooler than normal spring and early summer, the snow melt in the backcountry is about a month behind what it normally is.