For the week of August 12 thru August 18, 1998  

Adventurer slain in Pakistan

Wife, Susie Patterson, wounded in backcountry attack

Express Staff Writer

Edward "Ned" Gillette, 53, a modern-day explorer who had been to all corners of the earth but called Ketchum home, was shot and killed while encamped in the mountains of northern Pakistan Wednesday, Aug. 5.

His wife, former U.S. Olympic skier Susie Patterson, suffered unspecified wounds in the attack. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman said those wounds are not life threatening.

"She’s doing OK--she’s walking, and she’s mobile," said Susie’s mother Joannie Patterson, from her Sun Valley home Monday.

The State Department spokeswoman said Patterson and Gillette had been trekking six hours outside of Gilgit, a town in the mountainous region of northern Pakistan.

On Aug. 5, they were camped for the night when an assailant fired a 12-gauge shotgun at the couple, according to reports.

The blast apparently killed Gillette. Patterson was able to make it back to Gilgit, according to the State Department.

"The motive of the crime is still unclear," the spokeswoman said.

She said authorities in Gilgit have arrested and detained two suspects in connection with the crime.

A senior official from the U.S. Embassy in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, was dispatched to Gilgit to tend to Patterson.

According to Scott Rauland, a press officer at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Patterson flew there on Sunday from Gilgit and is now being treated in a hospital there.

Rauland said Patterson requested that Gillette be cremated in Islamabad.

Patterson’s brother Pete left the Wood River Valley on Saturday to be with his sister in Pakistan.

Gillette has been described as a pioneer of the adventure lifestyle.

His life of expedition began in 1972 when he crossed Alaska’s Brooks Range on skis.

In 1978, he made the first one-day ascent of Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America.

In 1993, Gillette and Susie Patterson retraced the route of Marco Polo across Asia on the famed Silk Road. Using camels, they made the trek from China to Turkey.

Patterson, of Sun Valley, was on the U.S. downhill ski team from 1971 to 1979. In 1976, she placed 12th in the women’s downhill competition in the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

Her mother Joannie said there is no schedule yet for her return.


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