Officials Recover Body Believed To Be Hiker Celebrating 80th Birthday On Mt. Rainier

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The National Park Service (NPS) announced Tuesday they have recovered a body from Washington state’s Mount Rainier matching the description of a hiker who was out celebrating his 80th birthday.

Dawes Eddy set off to hike Mount Rainier for the 50th time on May 30 in celebration of his 80th birthday, telling park officials at the time he was making the trek alone, King 5 News reported. When Eddy did not return from his solo trek by the evening of May 31, concerned family called the police, initiating a search for the elderly adventure-seeker, the outlet stated. (RELATED: Blind Veteran Successfully Tackles Mount Everest)

For days, search crews — including a team from the Army National Guard —  swept over the mountain, in search of Eddy, a press release from the NPS stated. On June 5, at approximately 9 p.m., two guides from Rainier Mountaineering reported sighting an unresponsive hike in a crevice located at 11,500 feet while they were out doing route work, the press release stated.

The following day, a helicopter reconnaissance team made their way to the site while a team of four climbing rangers and one RMI guide approached the location on foot. There, a body, matching the description of Eddy was extracted from the crevice and flown off the mountain, according to the press release. Official confirmation of whether the body recovered is Eddy’s will come from the medical examiner, King 5 reported.

“What we hope is to bring some kind of closure to the family,” Patti Wold, a Mount Rainier National Park interpretive media specialist, told the outlet. “That’s always, you know, our goal whether it’s whatever kind of closure it might be.”

While solo climbs are permitted in National Parks, NPS officials advise climbers to leave their planned itinerary with a trusted friend or family member.