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Snowshoe hiker dies in small avalanche near Wenatchee, WA

The Associated Press

WENATCHEE, Wash. - The body of a man killed in an avalanche was found Wednesday, buried in about four feet of snow, in the backcountry of the Wenatchee National Forest, Chelan County Sheriff Mike Brickert said.

Derek "Jay" Bowen, 33, of East Wenatchee and a friend were snowshoeing Monday afternoon near Twin Lakes when the slide covered them and three dogs.

Seneca Mott, 29, of Cashmere told sheriff's deputies the avalanche carried her down the mountainside about 100 feet, but she knew what was happening and was only partially covered in snow.

She was shaken up but not injured. She used a ski pole to probe the snow for Bowen but could not find him. One of his dogs also was missing.

Mott estimated the size of the avalanche at 20 feet by 200 feet. Strong winds were picking up and she feared they would bring down more avalanches, so she left to get help.

On Wednesday, 15 searchers and a search dog looked for Bowen near the spot where Mott's ski pole was found Tuesday. Crews used 10-foot-long poles to probe the snow.

The body was located after about four hours of searching Wednesday and turned over to the Chelan County coroner's office.

The missing dog was not found, Brickert said.

Mott and Bowen, a paramedic, had worked together for a Wenatchee ambulance service. Last year, he took a job at Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake, about 50 miles away.

The two remained friends and enjoyed outdoor recreation. On Monday, they traveled up White River Road to snowshoe to Twin Lakes.

They reached the lakes about 3 p.m. and were on their way back to the trailhead when they were hit by the slide.





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