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Chelan County Sheriff Mike Morrison reports three people were killed in an avalanche on February 19th just outside of Leavenworth. According to the report, a climbing party of six were attempting to climb the Northeast Couloir (coolwa) of Colchuck Peak when the lead climber triggered the avalanche. Four of the climbers were swept down approximately 500 feet, three of the climbers died as a result of trauma sustained in the fall. They were a 60 year old female from New York, a 66 year old male from New Jersey and a 53 year old male from Connecticut. The reporting party was a 53 year-old Maryland man who said the group attempted the climb on February 19th, the fourth climber a 56 year old male from New York who sustained non-life threatening injuries. He was able to hike back to the base camp with the remaining two, who is a 50 year old male from New York and a 36 year old male from New Jersey. A total of 22 rescuers responded to the trailhead to assist in the effort, with help coming from all over the northwest. They reached the base camp at approximately 1:30 pm on February 20th. They were able to determine avalanche conditions were too hazardous to continue to the deceased climbers. They escorted the surviving climbers back to the trailhead.

Rescuers were not sent back in to the scene Tuesday due to hazardous conditions. The Chelan County Sheriff's Office continues to work with Northwest Avalanche Center to assist in a recovery plan.

Colchuck Peak sits at the south end of Colchuck Lake, approximately 8 miles South of Leavenworth, WA.

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