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Contact: Kerry Olson, (360) 854-7365, ext 13
A waist-style day pack was found this afternoon during an aerial search of Storm King Mountain in North Cascades National Park. The pack was found on the north side of the mountain in steep, cliffy terrain at an elevation of 8000 feet. National Park Rangers have confirmed that the day pack belongs to John Arum, the 49-year old mountaineer reported missing Monday, August 30. Arum was planning to solo climb Storm King Mountain on Saturday, August 28.
Fifty personnel from the National Park Service, Chelan Mountain Rescue, Stehekin Community and the King County Sheriff’s Office are now searching for the missing climber. Today they were aided by four helicopters, including two with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR). FLIR is an imaging technology that detects thermal energy and can help find missing persons if they are in areas that cannot be seen.
Tomorrow fair weather is expected for continued ground and air searching. The search will again be narrowed based on the location of where the day pack was found. Canine teams will also aid in the search tomorrow.
Ground searches on Tuesday and Wednesday over steep and difficult terrain covered a 1500-acre search area. A backpack belonging to Arum was found yesterday 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. Arum’s camp from Friday, August 27 was also found along the Park Creek Trail.
Updates will are available via the North Cascades National Park Twitter account: