A Seattle woman is missing on Mount Rainier in Washington. Karen Sykes was reported as missing somewhere in the national park since Wednesday, June 18. Using an experienced hiker, search crews are still hopeful they will find her.
Karen Sykes, who is a Seattle resident, is known for being an experienced outdoors writer for various online newspapers and publications in Washington. She enjoyed sharing stories of the outdoors and went on hikes for inspiration. Sykes was working on a story during her hike this past week. She always brought appropriate emergency survival gear on her hikes, which is what she did for this past one also. Karen Sykes was late for a certain checkpoint, which was unusual for her. This was when she was reported as missing.
There are about 30 individuals walking the mountain in hopes of finding clues as to her whereabouts. A helicopter is also assisting in the search for Sykes. The search area is center around the Owyhigh Lakes area. Most of the search crew believes she is somewhere along or in the vicinity of the Owyhigh Lakes Trail, which is eight miles long.
Search crews fear that there could have been numerous factors that may have affected Sykes’ hike. Mount Rainier is a peak southeast of Seattle that is 14,410 feet high. This peak has numerous safety concerns that need to be acknowledged by anyone who is determined to face the challenge. In search for the missing Seattle woman, officials fear that Mount Rainier’s risky conditions may have caught Sykes off guard. The peak consists of snowy bridges and tree wells. There are also various slippery terrains throughout the trails.
Her good friend, Lola Kemp, believes that Sykes could possibly still be alive. She actually had plans to hike together with Sykes this upcoming weekend.
Karen Sykes has been missing since Wednesday. Just six weeks ago, six hikers disappeared on Mount Rainier also. It is believed that the six individuals fell off the mountain and died attempting to hike through the challenging trails.
Just last month, the six male hikers were part of a group that was hosted by Alpine Ascents International on Mount Rainier. No significant clues were found during their search, other than a few objects found in random spots on the peak. Search experts located an ice picket and boot tracks, but were never confirmed to belong to the group.
It is believed that either all six of their bodies could be spread apart or among the same area, though it is said that they fell to their deaths. There is a possibility that their bodies could be along the Carbon Glacier on Mount Rainier. This area has been known to be too treacherous for both hikers and search crews to even approach. Alpine Ascents cancelled all climbing parties for June.
As the search continues for the missing Seattle woman on Mount Rainier, search crews, friends and family are staying hopeful. The possibility of her death has not been acknowledged or stated. Those who know Sykes believe she is still alive.
By Tricia Manalansan