Volunteers from Spokane County Search & Rescue stepped in to aid in the search for a missing hiker in Skagit County, according to a news release from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
The Spokane group joined the search with Skagit County searchers Wednesday after a 66-year-old man from Mount Vernon didn’t return home from a solo day hike on Hidden Lake Trail near Marblemount May 22, the release said. The man was still missing as of Thursday, according to the release.
After several days searching steep, snow-covered terrain without a sign of the man, Skagit County searchers asked for help.
Spokane County’s helicopter flew the team to Skagit County from Felts Field at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, according to the release.
Six searchers exited the plane directly onto the ridge at an elevation of roughly 4,400 feet, the release said. From there, the team moved 1,400 feet up the mountain slope on foot, while the helicopter searched from above, the release said.
Search and rescue members looked for avalanche paths and tree wells that the hiker could have been swept into, the release said. There, they dug through the snow. The team faced ice, steep terrain and ongoing avalanche risks, according to the release. The search was further obscured by a foot of fresh snow that had fallen Thursday and Friday.
The helicopter flew the team back in the afternoon, before the hottest part of the day could raise the avalanche risk.. The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office and local search teams will determine next steps, the release said.
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