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Stay Out Stay Alive Fatal Accident Summaries
for 2006

July 5, 2006

Sammamish climber, 46, found dead in mine shaft
By Nick Perry
Seattle Times - United States

A Sammamish, Wash., climber missing for 12 days was found dead Sunday in a mine shaft near Blewett Pass. Photos found on the camera of Ronald Calder, 46, suggest he'd explored caves and mines in the area before attempting to descend into an abandoned gold mine, said Detective Mitch Matheson of the Chelan County's Sheriff's Office. Calder set out June 20. He appears to have tied a rope around a tree and descended about 100 feet into the shaft, which was about 4 feet by 4 feet wide, Matheson said. The detective believes that Calder then unhitched himself on a ledge to explore some horizontal shafts in the mine and was later unable to grab back onto his rope. Matheson said the temperature was about 55 degrees in the shaft and that Calder, an inexperienced climber, was wearing only light clothing, having left his pack at the top. A coroner's report indicates Calder died of hypothermia, Matheson said. (Source: Seattle Times)