|**News and Events: A Tragic Loss|
|Tue, July 12, 2005 02:34 PM|
On Sunday, July 10, 2005, The Mountaineers suffered the tragic loss of three members. While descending from an unsuccessful summit attempt on Sharkfin Tower in the North Cascades, falling rocks took the lives of Jo Backus (member since 1986), Mark Harrison (member since 2001) and John Augenstein (member since 1992). A fourth party member, Wayne McCourt, was critically injured and airlifted out to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. |
This is the first triple fatality in our history, and certainly the worst climbing accident the club has ever seen. This incident has shaken us to the core and is still too new, too fresh in our minds to be able to understand all that has happened.
I ask that all Mountaineers members and staff join me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to the families of our fallen friends.
Memorial services will be held at both the Seattle and Tacoma buildings, and all are welcome to attend to share their thoughts and memories. The Tacoma Intermediate Climbing Committee has posted a forum in their community for people to record their memories of Jo. You must be logged in to post a message, but anyone can view it. Go directly to the forum.
Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m.
Mountaineers Building Olympus Room
300 Third Ave West, Seattle
This is a pot luck - bring food, photos, memories.
Tuesday, July 19 at 7 p.m.
Tacoma Mountaineers Clubhouse
2302 North 30th St.
This is a reception type event, bring platters of "finger foods.
We'll serve beverages to go with. Bring photos.
A service will be held for Jo Backus at St. Andrews Episcopal Church (7410 S. 12th St in West Tacoma) on Saturday, July 16. The tentative starting time is 3 p.m.
Memorial Contributions for Jo's project HARK (hikes for at-risk kids, a program of incredible significance in Tacoma-Pierce County) can be mailed to The Mountaineers, Tacoma Branch, 2302 N 30th, Tacoma WA 98403