Mercer Island teen presumed dead after vanishing into snow at Aasgard Pass

Aasgard Pass

LEAVENWORTH, Wash. — The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office says a 19-year-old Mercer Island man is likely dead after vanishing into the snow beneath the summit of Aasgard Pass.

Sheriff Brian Burnett says the teen was glissading or sliding, down the pass Sunday afternoon when he disappeared into a hole that runs deep beneath the snowpack. The accident was reported by satellite text message and included GPS coordinates, but rescuers in a Lifeflight medical helicopter and a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office helicopter could find no sign of the man.

The search was suspended due to darkness at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday but was to continue Monday.

Officials declined to release the teen’s name pending notification of his family.

Aasgard Pass, at more than 7,800 feet in elevation, is a popular route from Colchuck Lake into The Enchantments.

The sheriff’s office says glissading, which often involves the use of an ice axe for control, is inherently risky due to unforeseen dangers such as holes or crevasses.