Donald Allen Youngquist was hiking with his son when he fell about 20 feet onto rocks in steep and brushy terrain, officials said.
He was off the trail at the time, Snohomish County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.
Youngquist died of head injuries in the accidental fall, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner reported Tuesday.
Cellphone coverage was a problem in the area, which was on state Department of Natural Resources land between the Robe Valley and Granite Falls fire districts.
The man's son had to leave his father to call for help. He was able to meet a search party near the Mountain Loop Highway and lead them back to his father. But a Snohomish County Search and Rescue helicopter found him first and a medic and attendant were lowered down.
They quickly determined that Youngquist had died from the fall, Ireton said. At that point, the rescue became a recovery mission.
His body was lifted out of the valley by helicopter around 6:30 p.m. Searchers on the ground were within 60 yards of the hiker, but the terrain would have made it difficult to reach him by land, said Snohomish County Fire District 17 chief Jim Haverfield said.
"We would have struggled to have gotten him out of that area," Haverfield said.
Twelve medics and firefighters from the Granite Falls, Lake Stevens and Robe Valley fire departments helped search and rescue crews.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org
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