VERLOT — A Snohomish County Search and Rescue helicopter on Wednesday recovered the body of a hiker who fell to his death on Mount Pilchuck the day before.
The identity of the man, 29, was not immediately released. He is believed to be from Bellingham.
He apparently fell off a 300-foot cliff, Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said. The body was discovered at the base of the cliff.
The man was hiking on a trail with his friends Tuesday afternoon, Hover said.
On the way back down he separated from his party without telling anyone where he was going. The hiker possibly took a shortcut, Hover said.
His friends waited for him at the trailhead before calling authorities about 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Volunteers searched through the night and found the man’s body about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on the north side of the mountain, “quite a ways from where he’d been hiking with friends,” Hover said.
About 30 volunteers helped in the search effort.
“At this time, we can only assume he got off trail and had a hiking accident,” she said.
The search-and-rescue Snohawk 10 helicopter, equipped with a hoist, brought the man’s body off the mountain late Wednesday morning, Hover said.
The body was turned over to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office, which will confirm and release identification as well as cause and manner of death.
The tragedy underscores an important safety reminder for hikers on Mount Pilchuck, Hover said.
“The No. 1 thing is to stay with a group,” she said. “Don’t separate.”
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org