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Possible missing hiker: Twin Lakes, Sequoia National Park

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Possible missing hiker: Twin Lakes, Sequoia National Park

Postby gdurkee » Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:45 am

Campers:

Ski Bum & I are working a search in Sequoia National Park in the Twin Lakes area -- bounded by Lodgepole and Silliman Pass. We're looking for information from anyone who's been hiking in that area since around October 31st -- or maybe even a few days before that big storm then.

Some hikers noticed a tent that apparently had no one around it for a few days and reported it to rangers. After checking, it looked like it'd been there for awhile, maybe as long as late October. Kind of a strange mix of gear: brand new camping equipment, but food and some other stuff you wouldn't expect from an experienced hiker.

So, it it would hugely helpful for ANYONE who was hiking in that area -- whether you remember seeing anyone or not (negative information helps too), to call the number below. Also, if you were in the Roaring River or Rowell Meadow areas, we'd like to hear from you as well.

Many thanks!

George Durkee
Park Ranger, Sequoia Kings National Parks

Here's the press release with details:

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks News Release
December 1, 2008
For Immediate Release
Alexandra Picavet 1-559-565-3131

Sequoia National Park Requests Public Assistance in Search Effort

Sequoia National Park is asking for assistance from the public in obtaining information about an abandoned campsite near Twin Lakes in Sequoia National Park. The campsite seems to have much of the gear and food supplies still in it. No identification from the person who set up the camp has been found.

The park received a report yesterday from two hikers who noticed the campsite had not been occupied in more than 24 hours. This report follows a sketchy report from a hiker approximately a week ago, but he did not have much information for rangers to go on. At this time there are no unresolved reports of overdue hikers, no abandoned vehicles, and no Wilderness Permits that are associated with this situation.

A hasty search by two rangers and a helicopter located the abandoned camp but did not find an associated person. The investigation is ongoing. The National Park Service is currently asking for any person who was in the Twin Lakes area including hiking between Lodgepole and Silliman Pass since October 31, 2008 to contact rangers with any information that will aid in this investigation. “We are looking for information about when this camp was setup, so even if someone did not see the camp, that would provide information to our investigation,” Incident
Commander Kyle Nelson said.

The parks dispatch office can be reached at 1-559-565-3341 extension 0, 24 hours a day.

Media representatives should call 1-559-679-2866 (cell) or email Alexandra_Picavet@nps.gov for information.
NPS



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Re: Possible missing hiker: Twin Lakes, Sequoia National Park

Postby copeg » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:15 pm

Hi George, no information unfortunately, but I edited your post to make it a 'sticky' so it stays on the top of the forum list for the next two weeks.
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Re: Possible missing hiker: Twin Lakes, Sequoia National Park

Postby Shawn » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:58 pm

Hi George,

Sorry no info here to report; sure hope the effort turns out well.

I happened to have heard some of the radio traffic on 11/30 between 8 and 9PM (could that have been you?). Anyway, the "some other stuff you wouldn't expect from an experienced hiker" sure caught my ear - just didn't make much sense.

Anyway, with this as a 'sticky' hopefully someone else will provide some insight before too long.

Be safe,

Shawn
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Re: Possible missing hiker: Twin Lakes, Sequoia National Park

Postby gdurkee » Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:12 pm

Thanks for making this 'sticky'. This investigation will keep going for awhile until he can be identified. After two days of actively searching the area -- using helicopter and 2 dog teams, we stopped the field search with no clues. By calling everyone with a permit, we were able to find a hiker who maybe (?) saw this guy. This person ran into a guy sleeping in the bathroom at Lodgepole. My idea of a Wilderness Experience... . He said he'd left Twin Lakes because it was too cold. The person reporting was under the impression he was going to hike back in that day (November 8th), but never saw him again, though he did find the apparently abandoned tent the following day at Twin Lakes. RP (which is cop speak for Reporting Party) also mentioned the guy asking about Deadman Canyon (out of Roaring River).

The point here is this shows the importance of hikers who were in the area contacting NPS, even -- especially -- it they were on the Twin Lakes trail and saw no one.

One of those Greater Mysteries we have to spend a lot of time and effort to figure out, to make sure we don't have a real missing person vs. abandoned property.

Anyway, thanks again!

George
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Re: Possible missing hiker: Twin Lakes, Sequoia National Park

Postby gdurkee » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:05 pm

Greg:

I think you can "unsticky" this one. I've got no further news, but I think the general feeling now is that it was an abandoned camp. Still, if anyone you run into was there in early November, a call to NPS would definitely help.

Many thanks to everyone for helping out!

Regards,

George
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Re: Possible missing hiker: Twin Lakes, Sequoia National Park

Postby BSquared » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:45 pm

Any definitive conclusion to this case yet?

-B2
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Re: Possible missing hiker: Twin Lakes, Sequoia National Park

Postby gdurkee » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:53 am

B2:

I was trying to find out. I don't think so. Last I heard it's being considered an abandoned camp. There's no missing people that match any of the information generated from the camp and other evidence.

More than kind of a pain when someone just walks away from a camp, then tells no one. What does he think is going to happen to the junk he left as well as the search (thousands of dollars) that resulted? (though, of course, in my semi-unemployed winter status, I was happy some of those dollars trickled down to me...).

grrrrrr.

g.
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