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Details on hiker’s deadly slide in Alpine Lakes Wilderness

HIKING/CLIMBING — More details are available regarding the death of a 21-year-old Eatonville, Wash., woman who slipped and fell into a crevasse Sunday while hiking and glissading in the Aasgard Pass area (elevation 7,841 feet) of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

The woman has been identified as Julia A. Rutherford, 21. She was a junior at Pacific Lutheran University. Most likely she died from hypothermia Sunday after she fell down a snow face and was pinned between snow and rock flooded with icy snowmelt.

“A person can only stand being in that water for about 20 minutes,” Chelan County Sheriff’s Lt. Maria Agnew told the Wenatchee World this morning. “That’s glacial water and it’s really cold.”

Aasgard Pass is in the Cascade Mountains near Leavenworth. It is the shorter, steeper way of two routes up into the Enchantment Lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The pass is still snow-covered.

Rutherford 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, where water was pouring in from snowmelt.

Read on for other details from the Wenatchee World.