Unknown Thursdays – Wellington, WA Avalanche

Welcome back! I should be saying this to myself since I haven’t posted anything in over a couple weeks. But it’s a new year and I’m committed to you dear reader.

Every Thursday I’ll be posting another strange, mysterious, or frightening true story. The world is full of wonders, despite our desire to understand everything with science and technology, there are still things that are left unknown. Come with me and let’s explore them together.

March 1st, 1910.

A wall of ice, snow and rain careened down on to two trains stuck on the track near Wellington, WA. Fourteen feet of dense, freezing snow hit the side of the trains so hard it picked them up off the tracks. It was like White Death.

Charles Andrews, an employee of the train company, the Great Northern described what he witnessed in 1960:

“White Death moving down the mountainside above the trains. Relentlessly it advanced, exploding, roaring, rumbling, grinding, snapping — a crescendo of sound that might have been the crashing of ten thousand freight trains. It descended to the ledge where the side tracks lay, picked up cars and equipment as though they were so many snow-draped toys, and swallowing them up, disappeared like a white, broad monster into the ravine below” (Roe, 88).

All in all 96 people lost their lives, in the worst avalanche accident in American history, to this day.  After nine days of non stop snowfall that fell on the Cascade mountain range and the massive amount of logging that cleared that side of the mountain, it was only a matter of time until a disaster struck. 23 people survived the horrific accident but all of the rest of the bodies couldn’t be recovered until 21 weeks later, it’s not hard to imagine how many people, severely wounded but alive, lay under the wreckage waiting for rescue.