Woman, 21, killed after falling into crevasse in Cascades

Woman, 21, killed after falling into crevasse in Cascades
Julia Rutherford
LEAVENWORTH, Wash. - A 21-year-old Eatonville woman was killed Sunday after she fell into a steep crevasse while hiking in the snowy Aasgard Pass area southwest of Leavenworth.

Julia A. Rutherford was hiking with her boyfriend and two others when she lost her footing on a snow field and slid down the snow face, said Maria Agnew, spokeswoman for the Chelan County Sheriff's Office.

Rutherford disappeared over the edge into an opening about five feet wide, Agnew said.

The woman screamed, and when her boyfriend went to help he saw a 45-degree cut under the snow pack that led into a crevasse with a large volume of water running underneath.

Rutherford was trapped in a place where the other members of the hiking party could not see her or get her out.

Agnew said the Chelan County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call at around 11:07 a.m. Sunday, and a search-and-rescue team was sent out.

At about 5:15 p.m., the rescue team found the woman wedged at the bottom of the crevasse between a boulder and a snow pile. They were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead.

"It's a tragedy, definitely," Agnew said.

Aasgard Pass is known as a treacherous high-altitude trail in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area, especially when covered by snow.