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Tuesday, September 02, 2014, 5:10 a.m.
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Search on for missing hiker at Mount Rainier

By The Associated Press

This article was published June 20, 2014 at 3:13 p.m.

ASHFORD, Wash. — Crews were searching at Mount Rainier National Park on Friday for a Seattle hiker who was reported missing late Wednesday.

Karen Sykes, a knowledgeable hiker, had adequate survival gear to camp overnight in the event of an emergency, park spokeswoman Patti Wold said.

Sykes, who is well known in the Northwest hiking community, has written numerous outdoors stories for online publications and newspapers. She also authored a book about hikes in Western Washington.

She was working on a story at the time, Wold said.

Sykes hiked ahead of her partner Wednesday when the two reached snow level at an elevation of about 5,000 feet on the east side of the mountain, Wold said. She was reported overdue several hours later.

Crews are scouring steep, rugged terrain in the Owyhigh Lakes area for a second day Friday. They are focused on eight miles of the Owyhigh Lakes Trail. Teams may also search by air Friday if weather permits.

Safety concerns for Sykes and search crews include snow bridges, tree wells, as well as steep, wet and slippery terrain, Wold said. On Thursday, a searcher was hurt when he punched through a snow bridge and was airlifted out of the search area.

In a separate search, an injured climber was airlifted Thursday off Double Peak after crews responded to a spot-locater beacon.

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