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Mukilteo hiker found dead after fall in Whatcom County


Last updated 7/17/2019 at Noon

A Mukilteo man was found dead after falling roughly 100 feet in Whatcom County last week.

Ronald Slama, 36, was announced as missing near the Mount Baker Ski Area in Whatcom County early last Monday, July 8. A search party found his body Wednesday, July 10, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. The report was released Friday, July 12.

According to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, the office’s search and rescue team was notified that Slama was missing around 10 p.m. July 8.

According to the office, Slama’s mother told officers her son was hiking the Lake Ann trailhead in the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest earlier that day, and had not yet returned.

Slama reportedly phoned his mother that day and told her he was not sure of his exact location, but said he could see the ski lodge and one of the chair lifts.

Slama reportedly planned to stay the night and then hike down to the ski lodge the morning of July 9, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. The office said Slama was equipped with gear necessary to spend the night in the wilderness.

The morning of July 9, Slama’s mother contacted Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office to let them know she hadn’t heard from her son. Deputies responded to the ski area and searched around Pan Dome cliff, as well as near two of the ski chair areas.

Members of Bellingham Mountain Rescue and a Customs and Border Protection helicopter assisted in a search of the area. The July 9 search came up empty, and there were no signs of Slama.

The search continued July 10, this time including cliffs to the left and right of the Chair No. 1 lift line. During the search near that chair, Slama’s body was discovered below the Pan Dome cliff.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office believes Slama fell roughly 100 feet to the valley floor at the base of the cliff.

Author Bio

Brandon Gustafson, Editor, Mukilteo Beacon

Brandon Gustafson was named editor of the Mukilteo Beacon in October, 2017. Born and raised in Mukilteo, Brandon attended Mukilteo Elementary, Olympic View Middle School, and Kamiak High School, graduating in 2013. After high school, Brandon attended Shoreline Community College, earning his associate's degree while playing for the school's baseball team. He then transferred to the University of Washington, where he graduated in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in communications-journalism.

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Twitter: @MukBeaconBPG


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