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  1. #1
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    WA - Edwin Birch, 64, Mt Rainier NP, 12 July 2014

    http://www.king5.com/news/local/Taco...267089721.html

    Mount Rainier National Park officials say a search is under way for a Tacoma man who disappeared Saturday while hiking with his son in the Panhandle Gap area on the Wonderland Trail...

    A search was begun at 7 a.m. Sunday, with 10 ground searchers and an MD530 helicopter from Northwest. Helicopters.

    On Monday, 53 people, including members from Everett, Tacoma, and Olympia Mountain Rescues, along with an Everett Mountain Rescue dog team were involved in the search, with air support from Northwest Helicopters.
    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2014...-at-mount.html

    According to park spokeswoman Fawn Bauer, Birch set out from the Box Canyon trailhead early Saturday after he dropped his son off at White River to hike south on the same trail on the park’s eastern side in the opposite direction.

    The two had set a goal to hike the 93-mile Wonderland Trail in sections, and Saturday’s plan was to hike the 19-mile section between Box Canyon and White River... Bauer said the son told them his father was trying to lose weight and that they were doing this to improve his conditioning. The two met about 3:30 p.m., about midway along the trail near Indian Bar at close to 6,600 feet elevation. The son told park officials his father seemed well, though a bit tired.

    After reaching the Box Canyon trailhead about midnight, the son picked up their car and drove to pick up his father at White River. When his father did not show up, the son notified park rangers at the White River ranger station at 1:30 a.m.
    I'm sorry, but WTH? Why were they each hiking alone on the same trail and not together?

  2. #2
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    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/0...l?sp=/99/1683/

    As the search continues for a missing hiker at Mount Rainier National Park, the road to Sunrise is closed until 10 a.m. this morning so the area can be used to stage an aerial search.

  3. #3
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    Very odd. Did dad have a life insurance policy? Who is the beneficiary?

  4. #4
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    It appears Edwin is a doctor specializing in substance abuse.

    I believe I found his son who has held numerous entry level jobs, many of them in the national parks. So the son should be smart enough to know his father shouldn't be doing a 19 mile hike alone, especially hiking until midnight.

  5. #5
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    This isn't heading in a good direction, it sounds. But seems too early to form much of a theory with what little has been reported. Sigh.... I say this too often. Here's hoping you are simply lost but safe and will be spotted today!
    "A word after a word after a word is power."
    ~Margaret Atwood~

  6. #6
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    http://www.dispatchnews.com/2014/07/...missing-hiker/

    An overdue hiker remained missing Wednesday on Mount Rainier. The search for Edwin Birch, 64, of Tacoma continued with ground crews scouring the Ohanapacosh, Cowlitz Park and Nickel Creek areas of the Wonderland Trail. An air search focused on a one-mile radius from the last known location of Birch...

    The section of the trail where Birch was last seen is snow-covered above 6,300 feet and has patchy snow in other locations. Park officials advise that all hikers should comeprepared for difficult hiking when snow can obscure park trails.

  7. #7
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    Searching just a one mile radius from the meet up with his son. Things that make you go hmmmm.

  8. #8
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    Boy, I always try and keep an open mind about things, but do we know for sure that the father was in fact ever at Mt. Rainier NP?
    We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rizzo0904 View Post
    It appears Edwin is a doctor specializing in substance abuse.

    I believe I found his son who has held numerous entry level jobs, many of them in the national parks. So the son should be smart enough to know his father shouldn't be doing a 19 mile hike alone, especially hiking until midnight.
    BBM: I'm glad you posted this. I don't know a great deal about hiking, but I would think any hiking after dark is a dangerous act. Add to that a 64 yo man who is trying to lose weight and improve his conditioning, 19 miles of hiking seems like quite a bit for one day. MOO

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rizzo0904 View Post
    It appears Edwin is a doctor specializing in substance abuse.

    I believe I found his son who has held numerous entry level jobs, many of them in the national parks. So the son should be smart enough to know his father shouldn't be doing a 19 mile hike alone, especially hiking until midnight.
    And especially the Wonderland Trail (I've hiked a section of it - many years ago) which has lots of change in elevation (up and down and up and down - very tiring). It's beautiful but tough. This is the time of year when the trail is most heavily used, so I wonder if they've been able to locate any other hikers who may have seen him.


  11. #11
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    It would seem strange that the two hiked seperately. The only reason I could see for them doing it the way they did is that they needed their car to go home. Some Mountains have shuttles back to lots, but they seemed like they planned for dad to drop off son and then go hike..meet mid point..then son get car and go pick up dad. Many people do this. Unfortunately it doesn't allow you to hike together...and on a Mountain like Rainer...with snow and up and down trails the dad being out of condition really should have thought better of this plan. But...hindsight certainly is 20/20. I truly hope that he is found alive.

  12. #12
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    Two helicopters and 45 ground searchers continued to look for a missing Tacoma hiker on the east side of Mount Rainier.
    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/0...rew-still.html

  13. #13
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    Well if you hike from opposite ends and then diverge again, you get 8+ hours before having to call him in missing. JMO of course

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by terracotta View Post
    It would seem strange that the two hiked seperately. The only reason I could see for them doing it the way they did is that they needed their car to go home. Some Mountains have shuttles back to lots, but they seemed like they planned for dad to drop off son and then go hike..meet mid point..then son get car and go pick up dad. Many people do this. Unfortunately it doesn't allow you to hike together...and on a Mountain like Rainer...with snow and up and down trails the dad being out of condition really should have thought better of this plan. But...hindsight certainly is 20/20. I truly hope that he is found alive.
    Sadly, I could picture my husband and son doing this! They are both so so stubborn! It's not until they are proven wrong that it's dangerous, that they will back down.

    I hope and pray the poor man is ok.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelslady View Post
    Sadly, I could picture my husband and son doing this! They are both so so stubborn! It's not until they are proven wrong that it's dangerous, that they will back down.

    I hope and pray the poor man is ok.
    LOL, yes I can see my sons doing that as well.

    I don't know this national park at all, but my initial reaction was that the son wanted a challenging hike while the dad wanted something easier, which would account for them going in different directions. Still, I'm very surprised the father hasn't been found. I don't know the terrain at all, though.
    We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

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