Tech entrepreneur, outdoorsman Doug Walker killed in apparent avalanche

An outdoor enthusiast and early high-tech pioneer in Seattle is dead, killed in an apparent avalanche.

The King County Sheriff’s Office launched a search Thursday after Doug Walker, 64, disappeared while hiking with a group of friends at the Granite Mountain Trail, about 45 miles southeast of Seattle.

His body was found Friday along a route that he had apparently traversed many times. The American Alpine Club, for which Walker served as president, confirmed his death.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Cindi West told CNN affiliate KOMO that “he was found in … a debris field, which would be consistent with an avalanche having occurred, so that’s one possible scenario of what happened.” She called his death a tragic accident.

Walker, originally from South Carolina, moved to Seattle to attend graduate school at the University of Washington.

In 1981, he co-founded Walker, Richter and Quinn (WRQ), a software firm that helped companies connect desktops with large mainframe computers.

Walker retired after WRQ Inc. was sold in 2004 for an undisclosed amount. Published reports at the time said the company — which was one of the biggest privately held software companies in the United States — recorded $100 million revenue the previous year.

Walker was founding president of the Seattle Parks Foundation and a member of other local and national outdoor organizations.

King County Executive Dow Constantine, in an online statement, called Walker “a great civic leader, conservationist and philanthropist who … brought boundless energy to everything he tackled.”

Walker was also remembered by U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who said in the Seattle Times that “our nation lost an amazing entrepreneur and true champion for access to the great outdoors for all people, especially youth.”

Jewell and Walker had both served on the board of the outdoor equipment retailer REI.

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