Climber Meets End in Mount St. Helens Crater

It was Roscoe Shorey's 29th time on the summit, authorities say
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2024 12:50 PM CDT
Climber Meets End in Mount St. Helens Crater
The steep slopes of the crater of Mount St. Helens are shown Monday, May 18, 2020, in Washington state.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

On his 29th time summiting Mount St. Helens, everything went wrong. Roscoe "Rocky" Shorey, an experienced mountain climber from Washougal, Washington, fell 1,200 feet into the volcano crater, where his body was recovered Saturday. The Skamania County Sheriff's Office said an overhanging edge of snow had broken from a mountain ridge near where the 42-year-old snowboarder stood. "While standing near the top, he triggered a cornice and fell to his death," according to the Northwest Avalanche Center.

A group had arrived at the summit around 7am Saturday, finding Shorey's belongings near where the snow cornice had fractured, per CBS News. They also spotted a body lying motionless in the crater below them. Airlifted into the crater, members of the Volcano Rescue Team were able to retrieve Shorey's body. The sheriff's office said it would work with search and rescue crews and the avalanche center on an investigative report.

"[We] would like to remind climbers of the dangers warmer weather brings to the local mountain attractions," it added. CBS notes a snow cornice, a tightly-packed block of snow atop a mountain ridge, "can become less sturdy and harder to detect in warmer weather." A longtime friend tells KGW that time spent with Shorey, a mountaineer and sky-diving instructor, was always "an adventure." Though Shorey did not live dangerously, "in 42 years, that guy lived a hundred years of life easily," says Bret Barnum. (More Washington state stories.)

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