We received this tragic news last night
just about midnight...the woman, Megan Kinsella,
is the former girlfriend of my step-son Bill --
Backcountry Slide Kills 1
Avalanche watch has been in effect
By JON NAITO
The year ended with another backcountry tragedy Wednesday when a 24-year-old woman was killed and a man was seriously injured after a large piece of ice and snow fell on them on a trail near Crystal Mountain.
Authorities said the couple were near Camp Sheppard, an area filled with trails administered by the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America. It is near state Route 410, east of Enumclaw.
About 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, a crew from Puget Sound Energy came across the man after he made his way to the highway, said Detective Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.
The crew went to search for the woman and found her body about two miles from the highway in an area called Snoquera Falls.
The man, 26, was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.
A search team was working to recover the body of the woman Wednesday night, Troyer said.
Troyer said the man suffered a serious head injury and was semiconscious when he was found.
Authorities were uncertain Wednesday night where the ice and snowpack had fallen or the cause, but said the couple had been ice climbing in the area. KOMO/4 reported the couple were both employed at the Crystal Mountain ski area.
The National Weather Service this week issued an avalanche watch for the Cascade and Olympic mountains for Wednesday and Thursday.
"Nobody should have been in there," Troyer said.
"There have been plenty of avalanche warnings the past few days, so no one should have been anywhere in the backcountry areas. It's dangerous out there."
Wednesday's was the latest in a series of fatal Northwest backcountry incidents recently.