Watch scene of search for missing Bellingham man
A hiker reported as missing overnight near Mount Baker Ski Area appeared early Tuesday at a search and rescue command post, officials said.
“His friends called him in as missing. He spent the night wandering around,” said Deputy Mark Jilk of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.
The hiker arrived around 7 a.m., officials said.
Jilk, who coordinates rescues in the Mount Baker wilderness, said the 19-year-old Bellingham man was unhurt, and apparently unaware that deputies and local volunteers had been searching for him overnight.
“He took a hike around the lower east side of Mount Herman ... he didn’t know he was lost or that anyone was looking for him.”
Temperatures remained about 50 degrees overnight, according to a National Weather Service remote measuring station at the 4,200-foot level, which is near the searchers’ command post. Skies were cloudy with no precipitation and west winds at 10 mph, said weather service meteorologist Ni Cuishmeer. Much of the rugged terrain remains snow-covered.
In addition to sheriff’s personnel, volunteers from the Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council and the Whatcom County Search and Rescue Council participated in the overnight search. They staged their equipment in a parking lot near the ski area and searched and slept in shifts.
“Out on search for 19-year-old missing hiker above Bagley Lakes area of Mount Baker,” Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council said on its Facebook page. “Two teams deployed in the field searching.”
At dawn, just after 6 a.m., they were considering a request for aircraft to assist, according to a social media post.