Search for John Arum continues

9/3/2010 - Boxing

SEATTLE -- Crews aided by dog teams, specially equipped helicopters and sunny skies searched for a fifth day Friday for John Arum, an experienced mountain climber missing in North Cascades National Park.

However, park spokeswoman Kerry Olson said no further sign had been found of the 49-year-old Arum -- a Seattle environmental attorney and son of boxing promoter Bob Arum -- since his day pack was discovered Thursday afternoon on the north flank of Storm King mountain, about 85 miles northeast of Seattle.

The search began Monday after Arum failed to return from a solo weekend trip to climb the 8,815-foot mountain, which family members said was part of his goal of reaching the summit of the 100 highest peaks in the state.

The small fanny pack was found at about the 8,000-foot level, in an area that suggested it fell because the terrain is so rough, Olson said earlier. She said Arum's larger backpack was found a day earlier on a trail about 900 feet below the summit on the less rugged south side, and searchers think it was deliberately left there with his climbing gear removed.

About 20 people, some using trained search dogs, were out Friday, along with four helicopters, two of them King County sheriff's aircraft with heat-seeking equipment. Counting coordinators and support workers, about 50 people were involved in the search, Olson said.

Friday's weather was "fabulous," she said, with temperatures in the 80s and clear skies. However, the National Weather Service forecast that clouds will move in with a chance of rain Saturday and temperatures dipping into the 40s that night.

Although the helicopters can't fly in heavy overcast, the ground effort will go on, Olson said.

"We will continue searching as long as there is ground to be searched," she said.

Earlier this week, Bob Arum left Los Angeles to join park rangers coordinating the effort. He had been on a three-city tour promoting the Nov. 13 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. His stepson, Todd duBoef, took over the tour that also stopped in New York and Dallas.

DuBoef said he spoke with the elder Arum on Friday.

"I sense from the tone in his voice, he sounds good, I think he wants to hear what I'm doing," duBoef said. "I think it's the business side that's keeping him kind of motivated -- how's it going, how was New York and that kind of stuff -- so it's just tough, it's tough on all of us."