Moses Lake hiker still sought in widening mountain rescue effort

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Rachel Lakoduk: Missing since Oct. 18.

MARBLEMOUNT — A lone hiker from Moses Lake who ventured toward a North Cascades fire lookout remained missing Wednesday, almost a week after she was last seen.

Twenty-eight-year-old Rachel Lakoduk went by herself Thursday to try to reach the Hidden Lakes Lookout near Marblemount, a seven-mile trek to a location almost 7,000 feet in altitude. She has not been seen since. Rescuers who reached the lookout cabin Tuesday said she was not there, and it was unclear whether she made it to the destination.

Skagit County Undersheriff Chad Clark said Wednesday morning that rescuers have not given up hope.

“On Thursday, when she went to the hike, she was seen and talked to other hikers that were coming down the trail, about halfway up. And so we know that she on the trail at least halfway up, and that was the last time that she was talked to that we know of,” Clark said.

Rescuers planned to use dogs, aircraft and unmanned drones as the search for Lakoduk widens out from the cabin destination. Clark said local agencies are still treating the operation as a search and rescue, not as a recovery.

The Hidden Lakes trail is a popular hiking route, but Clark said October weather can be tricky, and Lakoduk’s trip coincided with the onset of heavy storms.