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Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Skamania County > Article # 331

Media Article # 331

Wednesday, June 30, 1993

Excerpt from Chapter 1 - Vanishing Skier

By Don Hunter with Rene Dahinden
Sasquatch/Bigfoot: The Search for North America's Incredible Creature

One balmy May Sunday [in 1950], on the slopes [of Mt. St. Helens] near Ape Canyon, a well-known Seattle mountaineer named Jim Carter disappeared in circumstances that were, to say the least, mysterious. No trace of Carter, who was with a twenty-member climbing party, was ever found although teams of experienced mountain rescue units scoured the area for a week.

As the party came down the mountain Carter left them at the 8,000-foot level, near a landmark called Dog's Head. He said he would go ahead and photograph the others as the skied towards the timber line. That was the last time he was seen. The next morning a discarded film box was found at the spot where presumably he had loaded his camera.

Carter's ski tracks indicated that he had raced down the mountain, as one searcher described it in a story in the Oregon Journal. "taking chances that no skier of his calibre would take unless something was terribly wrong or he was being pursued." The speaker was Bob Lee, a Portland Mountaineer, who is a member of the exclusive international Alpine Club and who has led and advised U.S. expeditions to the Himalayas.

In his wild descent, Carter jumped several gaping crevices before going right off a steep canyon wall. Neither he nor his equipment was ever found.

Several of the seventy-five men in the search parties reported they experienced an uncomfortable feeling of being watched the whole time they were in the area. Lee said, "It was the most eerie experience I've ever had. I could feel the hair on my neck standing up... I was unarmed except for my ice axe and, believe me, I never let go of that."

Lee said that both he and Dr. Otto Trott, the surgeon for the Seattle Mountain Rescue Council, came to the same conclusion: "The apes got him."

Bibliographical Information:

Originally Published in 1973 by McClelland & Stewart. Revised Edition published in 1993 by Firefly Books(U.S.), Inc.

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