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June 22, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Friend: Body found near Mount Rainier is Karen Sykes

Karen Sykes, writer, hiker

Karen Sykes, writer, hiker

Corrected version

A friend of well-known outdoors writer Karen Sykes said Sunday he has received a call from the National Park Service confirming that the body found yesterday on the east side of Mount Rainier is Sykes.

Don Geyer said he believes he is one of a handful of people who received the call. Geyer was on a list of people who were to be notified of her death.

Official confirmation of the identity of the body found in the area where Sykes had been hiking isn’t expected until tomorrow.

Sykes, 70, went missing on Wednesday while she and her boyfriend were hiking in the Owyhigh Lakes area near Mount Rainier. When the pair encountered snow at about 5,000 feet, he stopped, but she went on, with plans to meet up later.

When Sykes didn’t return, her boyfriend hiked down and reported her missing. Rescuers searched on the ground and in the air, and found a body on Saturday off-trail near the eastern branch of Boundary Creek in rough, steep terrain.

Geyer said the two were hiking from Highway 123 toward Owyhigh Lakes.

The Pierce County Medical Examiners’ Office is expected to make an announcement about the person’s identify on Monday.

On Sunday, the Park Service referred questions about the case to the Medical Examiner’s office.

Well-known in the Northwest hiking community, according to The Associated Press. Sykes has written numerous hiking stories for online publications and newspapers, authored a guide book about hikes in Western Washington, and co-wrote another book about hiking among wildflowers.

For years she wrote a popular trail column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and produced additional stories about Washington treks for The Seattle Times, The AP said.

Correction: Information in this article, originally published June 22, 2014, was corrected June 22, 2014. A previous version of this story incorrectly said the friend who said he had been told that Karen Sykes was the hiker who died near Mount Rainier was Mike Fagin. The friend is Don Geyer.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: friend, identification, Karen Sykes

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