KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. — A 19-year-old man from Spokane fell to his death in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness over the weekend during a day hike.
Sean Mortensen left his hiking partners on Friday morning to go for a day hike and did not return. Authorities with the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office said Mortensen's body was found on Sunday, Sept. 1.
Authorities responded to the Spectacle Lake area in the Alpine Lakes wilderness, approximately 25 miles north of Cle Elum, for a report of an overdue hiker on Saturday afternoon. The area is in the Cascade Mountains.
According to a family friend, Mortensen headed out on a four-hour hike on Friday.
Mortensen said that he was going to take a day hike toward Three Queens, which is located northeast of Spectacle Lake, authorities said.
Mortensen's two hiking partners, his brother Wesley, and friend Rachel Tolley, waited for his return. Hikers in the area told them that Mortensen's hike was very difficult and could take longer than anticipated, according to the family friend, but at 4:30 p.m. on Friday the hiking partners began searching for him.
On Saturday and Sunday, more people joined the search, including Mortensen's father and other friends of the family.
Authorities said Mortensen's body was found in the Three Queens area at the base of a steep slope. It appears that he fell about 150 feet.
“The Sheriff's Office extends our deepest condolences to Sean's friends and family,” the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Mortensen's family.
The GoFundMe says that Sean was the Mortensen family's first-born son, and describes him as "smart, funny, outgoing as they come, and a friend to all who knew him."