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August 22, 2005

RIP Mike Lane

Five years ago, on August 12th, 2000, my neighbor Mike Lane lost his life 4 wheeling on the continental divide. As best as I can tell, he was riding on or near Whale Peak or Glacier Peak and went off trail to drive into a bowl somewhere above Gibson Lake. He was trying to drive up out of the bowl, but the ascent was too steep, and, after making several attempts to get the jeep to ascend the hill, the jeep cartwheeled off the face of the continental divide and "rolled for nearly 1/4 mile and was almost completely disintegrated". A hiker witnessed the event, but was unable to save him. Park County Search and Rescue had to string a 1200 foot rope to get him out. A local tree-hugger named Dick Reese intially trivialized Mike's death by claiming that "The scars left on the fragile mountain tundra may be there for decades". Fortunately, Dick was promptly and justly humiliated and castigated for for his heartless indifference to Mike's tragic demise.

It's odd going back and researching this tragic accident. Googling is almost useless in this case, as it occurred 5 years ago, and most of the links I found were broken. I have re-created broken links to the story using the Wayback Machine.

Mike is gone, but not forgotten. Rest in peace, Mike.

Update: I'm trying to determine exactly where Mike was when the accident occurred, and exactly what happened. By all accounts, he was an experienced off-road enthusiast, so I'd like to learn as much from this accident as possible, as I find myself riding on the same trails. If anyone has information about exactly where and how the accident occurred, please post comments. I've included a USGS topographical map of the general vicinity below. (Click on photo below to enlarge.)

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Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 22, 2005 at 11:24 PM

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