MOUNT ST. HELENS, WA (KPTV) - A hiker thought to be missing made contact with deputies to report he was safe after a search operation was launched on Mount St. Helens.
The Skamania County Sheriff's Office said a group of four hikers with a guide made it to the summit Thursday and were on their way back down when one hiker went ahead to start packing up the camp.
When the guide and the other three hikers arrived at the camp, it was still set up. The guide went back up the trail to search for the separated 38-year-old hiker, but could not locate him.
The sheriff's office said the overdue hiker separated from the group between the 5,000 and 6,500 foot level on Mount St. Helens.
Search and rescue crews checked areas on the mountain through Thursday night. Additional crews responded Friday to help in the search efforts.
A helicopter crew from the Army station in Yakima also responded to the scene to help.
By Friday afternoon, Skamania County dispatchers confirmed the hiker in question had contacted them and reported that he was safe and getting a ride back to Portland from some people who had found him.
The sheriff's office then reported deputies made direct contact with the man and confirmed he was off the mountain.
Search crews were then brought back to base camp to close the mission.
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