Searchers look for overdue hiker on Mount Rainier trail

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK — A Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman says searchers are looking for a 64-year-old Tacoma man who failed to meet up with his son during a weekend hike.

Park spokeswoman Fawn Bauer says the search for Edwin Birch is expected to resume Tuesday morning. Nearly two dozen people joined the ground search Monday, including a dog team. Aircraft from Northwest Helicopters also helped.

The News Tribune reported that Birch was last seen, by his son, on Saturday afternoon along a stretch of the 93-mile Wonderland Trail.

Bauer says the two had planned to hike a 19-mile stretch of the Wonderland Trail on Saturday, between Box Canyon and White River. She says Birch dropped his son off at one trailhead, then he set out from another. Their plan was to hike the same trail from opposite directions.

Bauer says the son reported his father seemed fine, though a bit tired, when they met each other halfway at about 3:30 p.m. After the son finished his hike about midnight Saturday, he picked up their car and drove to pick up his father at White River. He asked rangers for help early Sunday.

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