WHATCOM — A hiker reported missing on Monday, July 8, was found dead Wednesday at the base of a cliff in the Mount Baker Ski Area.
The victim was positively identified as 36-year-old of Ronald Slama of Mukilteo, said Sheriff Bill Elfo in a news release.
The hiker had been at the Lake Ann trailhead at one point, but then told family members in a cell phone call that he did not know his exact location, although he could see the Mt. Baker ski lodge and one of the chair lifts. He planned to spend the night where he was and then hike down to the lodge in the morning. He felt equipped and prepared to spend the night in the wilderness.
When the hiker was not heard from on Tuesday, a search effort was mobilized around the Pan Dome area and ski lifts 1 and 6, Elfo said.
Members of Bellingham Mountain Rescue and a Customs and Border Protection helicopter assisted in an expanded search.
On Wednesday, searching resumed and a body was found below the primary Pan Dome cliff. It appeared that the victim had fallen approximately 100 feet to the valley floor at the base of the cliff, Elfo said. The body was recoverd and released to the county medical examiner’s office.