UW professor missing after hike on Mt. Rainier

An assistant professor at the University of Washington is missing after going on a hike on Mount Rainier.

Sam Dubal was last known to be hiking the Mother Mountain Loop out of the Mowich Lake Trailhead on Friday, Oct. 9, and was due out Saturday, Oct 10, according to Mount Rainier National Park officials.

When he didn’t appear at an appointment on Monday, friends and relatives reported him missing and rangers found his car at the trailhead.

“He’s just a lovely human being, extremely kind and nice and a clear thinker so we’re just really concerned about him because he’s a trusted friend and colleague,” said Dr. Krishna Prabhu, a friend of Dubal’s from medical school.

Prabhu said Dubal just moved to Seattle from California, where he often hiked. Prabhu said Dubal was likely not familiar with hiking in Pacific Northwest weather, which turned rainy over the last few days.

On Monday night, before the latest storm moved in, rangers brought in an Air Force helicopter, which searched with infrared radar.

At least 25 people are searching on the ground.

“We’re trying to pin down where he was last seen and when,” said Kevin Bacher of the National Park Service.

Rangers are trying to figure out if Dubal spent Friday night at the Carbon River backcountry camp, and are eager to hear from anyone who might have seen him on the trail.

Despite the rainy weather, the hike is not at a particularly high elevation, and rangers are optimistic that they’ll find Dubal safe.

“A well prepared hiker in the area where Mr. Dubal went missing can very easily wait out a storm,” Bacher said.

If you saw Dubal in the park in the last few days, rangers ask that you call (360) 569-6684.