Outdoors Writer Disappears While Working on Story

Seattle's Karen Sykes had been hiking Mount Rainier

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 21, 2014 2:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Rescuers are searching Mount Rainier for an experienced hiker and outdoors writer who disappeared on a hike Wednesday, reports AP. Missing is Karen Sykes, 70, an author who has written frequently in print and online about hikes in Seattle and throughout the Northwest, reports NBC News. "She is the guru of trails," says one friend. Sykes went to Mount Rainier National Park Wednesday with a friend to research another hiking article, and separated from her partner at about 5,000 feet: snow level, says a park spokesperson.

Giving her friends hope is that, in addition to a lifetime of experience, Sykes had gear for an overnight hike. "She's the last person anyone would expect to get lost, particularly on Mount Rainier," says Greg Johnston, a fellow outdoors writer who got Sykes to write a column ("Hike of the Week") for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that ran for years. "If anybody can survive it, it's her. She's really tough and really savvy." (Her disappearance comes about 3 weeks after six hikers are believed to have fallen to their deaths on Rainier.)

This undated photo shows Karen Sykes.   (AP Photo/Lola Kemp)
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