Search halted for experienced hiker Karen Sykes on Mt. Rainier

By Kyle Johnson,

A search for an experienced Seattle hiker who disappeared while in Mt. Rainier National Park was called off on Saturday after three days.

The National Park Service announced they had suspended the search for Karen Sykes, but wouldn't reveal the reason, saying more information would be revealed when possible, the Associated Press reported tonight.

Six ground crews, two outfitted with search dogs, went out looking for her after she was reported missing.

Sykes was a known hiking enthusiast who wrote extensively about her time hiking the national park and is well-known among Northwest hikers. The 70-year-old was said to be working on a story.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Sykes and her partner got separated when they reached a section of the Owyhigh Lakes Trail that still had snow. Her partner didn't want to go on, thinking the trek at the moment would be too difficult, but Sykes carried on.

"Ms. Sykes is a very strong hiker and she wanted to go ahead and her hiking partner had chosen not to hike in the snow, so they agreed to meet each other back at the same point," park service spokeswoman Mimi Gorman said.

It isn't known what gear Sykes had with her and as of noon Saturday, searchers were unable to locate her or any evidence of what might have happened.



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