Mount Vernon man missing after Hidden Lake Trail hike

Search and rescue crews were back in the mountains of Skagit County Monday morning to search for a missing hiker who never made it home from Hidden Lake Trail. 

According to the Skagit County Sheriff's Office, deputies were notified about 8:30 p.m. Saturday that 66-year-old Thomas Simonseth of Mount Vernon had not returned from the day hike. 

He had planned to take the Hidden Lake Trail about nine miles east of Marblemount and was expected to be home by 7 p.m.. Two friends with mountaineering experience had hiked into the area to look for him but were unable to locate him. They spent the night hoping to continue their search in the morning. 

Thomas Simonseth (photo courtesy Skagit County Sheriff's Office)

The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from various search and rescue groups, began an official search on Sunday at 7 a.m.  The search continued throughout the day but crews were unable to find Simonseth. 

The search was set to resume again Monday morning. 

His wife, Rose Simonseth, has surrounded herself with family and friends in her Mount Vernon home.

"I didn’t sleep last night. I was a mess this morning," said she. "You pick yourself up and keep going. I get people around me with encouraging words, everything helps."

She told Q13 News her husband retired recently after a long career as a public school teacher and basketball coach. His love for hiking was spurred by friends. Tom had only been hiking for about a year, according to his wife, and he headed to the trailhead on Saturday solo.

"He was hiking alone, which he should have never done," she said. "That’s the hardest part."

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