September 2, 2010
Kerry Olson, (360) 854-7365, ext 13
The search continues for the mountaineer missing on Storm King Mountain in North Cascades National Park. The 49-year old resident from the Seattle area was planning to solo climb Storm King Mountain on Saturday, August 28. National Park Service personnel, plus mountain rescue volunteers from the Stehekin community and Chelan County have been searching for the missing climber since Monday, August 30.
Late Wednesday afternoon a backpack was found by a ground search team at the 7400-foot elevation level directly below Storm King Mountain’s 8500-foot summit. The backpack was on the route to the summit, and it is believed that the pack was purposely placed at this location. National Park Service rangers were able to confirm the gear belongs to the missing climber. An aerial search continued for the remainder of the afternoon, but no other clues were found. Air and ground searching will continue today near the summit, along the approach to the summit and along the north side of the mountain.
National Park Service rangers confirmed that a tent and other gear found on Monday belong to the missing climber, who had been issued a backcountry permit to stay at that location on Friday, August 27. The designated camp site is along the Park Creek Trail en route to a Storm King climbing route. Ground searches on Tuesday and Wednesday covered a 1500-acre search area. The terrain where the searches are being conducted is steep and difficult.