Doug Walker: Washington Granite Mountain Avalanche Kills Tech entrepreneur “Details”

Updated: January 6, 2016
Doug Walker: Local wilderness advocate found dead on Washington mountain

Doug Walker, a Seattle tech entrepreneur and avid hiker, was found dead Friday after a hiking accident on Washington’s Granite Mountain.

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 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.

Sportact Editors and Wire Services