The Mt. Baker Ski Area sits in the shadow of Mount Shuksan, in the final miles of Highway 542. This shows snow conditions in August 2016. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)

The Mt. Baker Ski Area sits in the shadow of Mount Shuksan, in the final miles of Highway 542. This shows snow conditions in August 2016. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)

Mukilteo hiker, 36, dies in apparent fall near Mount Baker

Ronald Slama was hiking the Lake Ann trail when he got lost late Monday. He was later found dead.

GLACIER — A Mukilteo hiker who went missing at the Mt. Baker Ski Area this week was found dead two days later at the bottom of a steep cliff, authorities announced Friday.

Ronald Slama, 36, appeared to have fallen about 100 feet to his death, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Slama had phoned his mother Monday, saying he’d gotten lost while hiking the popular Lake Ann trail on an arm of Mount Shuksan, the sheriff’s office reported. The trail begins near the end of twisting, paved Mount Baker Highway, with switchbacks that descend from 4,700 feet elevation, just southwest of Panorama Dome.

The son reportedly told his mother he didn’t know exactly where he was, but he could see a ski lodge and chair lift. Both features are visible from Pan Dome, a centerpiece of the ski area. He’d planned to spend the night, then hike down to the lodge in the morning. Slama had overnight gear, according to the sheriff’s office.

His mother called the sheriff’s office around 10 p.m., to pass along what her son said.

On Tuesday morning, she didn’t hear from him.

A crew from Bellingham Mountain Rescue and a U.S. border helicopter scoured the slopes around two chair lifts, No. 1 and No. 6, with no sign of the missing man on Tuesday.

Search teams found Slama’s body Wednesday near the Chair 1 lift.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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