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Body of overdue hiker found near bottom of Pan Dome cliff at Mt. Baker Ski Area

When you get lost or go missing, this crew will come looking

Sgt. Scott Huso of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office describes several incidents over the past year that required specialized search and rescue skills, and lists the various agencies and volunteer groups that help when someone is missing or need
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Sgt. Scott Huso of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office describes several incidents over the past year that required specialized search and rescue skills, and lists the various agencies and volunteer groups that help when someone is missing or need

A 36-year-old man from Mukilteo who was hiking near the Mt. Baker Ski Area on Monday apparently fell approximately 100 feet to his death off the primary Pan Dome cliff, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office reported Friday, July 12.

Ronald Slama was found on the valley floor at the base of the cliff on Wednesday, July 10, less than two days after he was reported overdue, according to a news release.

The Sheriff’s office was first notified that Slama was overdue at approximately 10 p.m. Monday, when his mother reported that he had gone hiking at the Lake Ann trailhead in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest earlier that day, the release stated. Slama reportedly phoned his mother and said he did not know his exact location, but that he could see the ski lodge and one of the chair lifts.

Slama reportedly told his mother that he planned to spend the night and then hike down to the ski lodge Tuesday morning and that he was equipped to spend a night in the wilderness.

Slama’s mother called the sheriff’s office Tuesday morning to report that she had not heard from her son, the release said, and sheriff’s office personnel responded to the ski area to begin search efforts around Pan Dome and the areas near Chair Nos. 1 and 6.

Members of the Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council and a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol helicopter assisted in an expanded search area, the release said, but Slama was not located Tuesday.

The search resumed Wednesday to include the cliffs to the left and the right near Chair No. 1, the release said, and that’s when Slama’s body was located, removed from the area and released to the Whatcom County medical examiner’s office.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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