ASHFORD, Wash. — The search for a University of Washington professor missing at Mount Rainier National Park since mid-October has resumed again.
Officials suspended the search on Oct. 23 due to winter weather.
Dr. Sam Dubal disappeared while hiking in the Mowich Lake area of the national park. He was due back on Oct. 10, but never returned. Park rangers and volunteers started searching for Dubal on Oct. 11.
The National Park Service (NPS) said Friday that with the arrival of winter weather and following "exhaustive" search efforts with no results, it is suspending ground searches for Dubal.
“Searchers have spent long hours scouring the area and not locating Dr. Dubal is heavy on our hearts,” said Chip Jenkins, superintendent at Mount Rainer National Park, in a statement Friday. “We continue to be in close contact with Dr. Dubal’s family and will keep them updated as new information becomes available.”
On Thursday, Dubal's family told KING 5 they remain hopeful he is still found alive somewhere on the mountain.
“He has gear with him. He has a tent, he has a rain jacket, he has a sleeping bag, he was ready,” said Dena Dubal, Sam’s sister.
Dubal, an experienced outdoorsman, was on a solo backpacking trip inside Mount Rainier National Park.
“We know that he had a backcountry permit to spend the night at Carbon River Camp and we know that he was planning to do the Mother Mountain loop, yes.” said Ranger Kevin Bacher of the National Park Service.
If you have any information that could help investigators in the search, you're asked to contact the NPS Investigative Service Branch Tip Line by call or text at (888) 653-0009.