Search for missing Rainier hiker scaled back

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK — Officials at Mount Rainier National Park are scaling back operations as the search for a missing Tacoma hiker entered the sixth day.

Deputy Superintendent Tracy Swartout says there’s still no sign of Edwin Birch, who went missing last weekend while hiking the popular 93-mile Wonderland Trail.

She says no air searches are planned Friday but six people on the ground are focusing on areas on the east side of the park.

Birch, 64, was last seen by his son Saturday as they hiked the Wonderland Trail, which loops Mount Rainier. They were doing a 19-mile day hike between Box Canyon and White River, starting from opposite ends.

The son saw his father at the midpoint, but when the son got back to their vehicle and went to pick up his father late Saturday night, he couldn’t find him.

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