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Join the 3rd annual citizen search for Matthew Greene!

A forum to initiate member meet-up. Looking for a hiking/climbing/fishing/skiing/etc. partner, or are you planning a trip where you wouldn't mind having some company? Last minute invites can be just as fun as a well-planned group trip (sometimes even better) so don't be shy! And be sure to post a trip report to the appropriate forum when you get back.
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Join the 3rd annual citizen search for Matthew Greene!

Postby oleander » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:59 pm

Please join the 3rd annual citizen search for Matthew Greene, who is believed to have gone missing in the Ritter Range in July 2013.

September 8-11, 2016

It's like a meet-up with a cause, which is to help provide closure to Matthew's family. You get to meet some wonderful fellow hikers, and enjoy exploring the Minarets, with their world-class scenery.

Anyone with at least Class 2 experience is welcome. Class 3 and above is useful too, although I'm more of a Class 2-er and I've been able to do extensive searching the past two times without any problem. There are multiple areas to search, so rest assured that you will be assigned something that is within your experience and comfort level and your current fitness. In any case, we are an informal group and you do not have to be a member of any particular forum or organization to participate.

SCHEDULE
Wed late afternoon or evening, Sept 7: Gather to camp at Shady Rest Campground in the town of Mammoth Lakes
Thurs the 8th, early morning: Drive to the Beck Lakes Trailhead, and hike in to Deadhorse Lake. Deadhorse Lake is our basecamp for each night.
Fri the 9th and Sat. the 10th: Search
Sun. the 11th: Hike back out to Mammoth, probably in the morning

There are currently 4 unclaimed spots on our Beck Lakes TH permit for September 8. Please RSVP if you'd like to claim a spot. (If more than four of you are interested, advance reservable permits are still available at recreation.gov. Or, it should be easy enough to obtain a walk-in permit this late in the season.)

- Elizabeth



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Re: Join the 3rd annual citizen search for Matthew Greene!

Postby maverick » Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:05 pm

Has been cancelled unfortunately for this year. Thanks
:(
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Join the 3rd annual citizen search for Matthew Greene!

Postby Jimr » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:47 pm

I'm still going. If you were planning on attending, the logistics are the same. New Shady Rest campground. I will be there sometime between 6 and 7pm on the 7th. I believe if there is not enough room to park at the campsite, one could park at the visitor's center and walk across to camp. Perhaps somebody can confirm or deny that.
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Re: Join the 3rd annual citizen search for Matthew Greene!

Postby Jimr » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:46 am

I’ve spent a lot of time staring at a blank screen, looking for the words, but they just don’t come. I don’t know why I have so much emotion tied up with Matthew. People go missing in the Sierra quite often, yet I don’t find myself drawn to them. So, while my emotions flip flop around like a fish out of water, at least, there are words on a page.

I had never hiked the Minarets before our Sept. 2014 search. I’d seen the peaks many times while skiing Mammoth many years ago, but never stepped foot there. I have now taken many steps and seen many beautiful scenes of these lofty and sublime peaks. Our hike to Deadhorse Lake was no exception. For some reason, I had the vision of it being a rather mundane area. I have no idea why I envisioned that. In 35 years, I’ve never met a Sierra lake I didn’t like.

I took off early on the 7th to secure permits in Lone Pine, then headed off to the New Shady Rest campground where David_Ayers was already camped. There was plenty of daylight left when I arrived, so we had plenty of “gettaknowya” time. David is engaging and very personable, so it was a very relaxed and easy afternoon and evening chatting about this and that around the campfire. Since the shuttle had stopped running, we were in no crack of dawn hurry to break camp and head to the trailhead. I don’t carry a watch on my hikes, but I believe we started hiking around 9somethingoranother. I normally drag my behind on day one, but I wanted to set a better pace than that, so we started out fairly quickly through the forest slog until just before the switchbacks to Minaret lake.

CalTopo shows a use trail to Deadhorse Lake just before the switchbacks start, but we saw nothing, so David found a nice log and we had lunch at around damnimhungry:30 or so. It wasn’t long after resuming our hike that we hit the switchbacks to Minaret lake. We decided to head up to the lake and traverse around to Deadhorse. We skirted around the base of Riegelhuth Minaret and found it easy cross country; A great place to take a tumble, so I did. A quick check indicated no harm, no foul, so I proceeded to get up. My pack had other ideas, so I lay there and informed David that I was o.k., just figuring out how to get up. I brushed myself off and we continued on around the bend onto a talus slope. We pondered whether to keep traversing around into loose talus or slide down to terra firma. We chose the latter.

On our way down, I spied two hikers sitting on a rock at the outlet to Deadhorse lake. We had planned on meeting up with Oleander and ghost at the lake and I was anxious to find out who the two hikers were. One was all in white. O.K., that could be ghost, but the other one? I’ve hiked with Oleander several times and I don’t recall ever seeing her in a blue shirt. Maybe it’s not them. As we approached, we were welcomed by Oleander and ghost. They had gotten to the lake an hour or so before us and had scoped out the best camp spot in town. It was capable of holding 3 tents, which is what we had. A perfect spot with a kitchen rock, a lounging rock, and lots of Mountain Hemlock. We all set-up camp and proceeded to relax and chat.

Deadhorse lake is a beautiful emerald lake with a slight milky appearance due to being glacier fed, although, there is no longer a glacier. We were surrounded by high and jagged peaks unlike any I have seen. As night fell, we all sat on the lounging rock gazing at stars and chatting. Actually, it was quite a romantic sort of place, if one were into that sort of thing.

The next morning, we fueled up and headed up the terminal moraine to the outlet of the upper tarn that filled the bottom of the cirque we were to search. We topped out at the outlet and were pleasantly greeted by Kehrlein and Starr Minaret surrounding a small bowl of talus and tarn. Sounds almost like an Irish salad. We all sat down, snacked and began glassing the place. You could almost search the whole cirque on your butt, but, but,,but….the eyes grew weary and the legs wanted to move. David started searching the far side immediately. After a bit of time behind binoculars, the rest of us were getting antsy to physically search. You can go cross eyed behind glass for too long.

We basically carpet bombed the bowl, leaving no stone unturned except for the loose, steep stuff just below Starr. The rest of the bowl was surprisingly stable. We were able to get right up to the face of Kehrlein, then pattern search our way down to the tarn. We checked the base of the three chutes that were in our search area as well.

We finally reconvened and concluded that we hit the place so hard that there really wasn’t any reason to come back up the next day just to retread the area, so we made alternate plans. The next morning, David hiked on toward Ediza as he was geared for several more days in the backcountry. Oleander and ghost had already been in a week, so the three of us decided to hike out and play tourist in Bishop. That turned out to be a wise decision. The next afternoon, the Ritter range was hammered with rain and snow. David saw the weather eroding and hauled out as well. We decided to cross country it down stream to the main trail, then beat feet it from there. We got to Bishop with plenty of daylight left, so we went to a new brewery there that just happened to serve wonderful meals as well. For me, the trip was short on time in the wilderness, but long on scenery and friendship.

And then, back to the emotion. I feel great success that we covered the search area with a fine toothed comb. I’m disappointed and sad that we found no evidence, but we are looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. If Matthew is there, he is near the peaks somewhere. There are so many places near the top to get wedged, but nearly nothing to stop a fall along the walls. They are sheer and slick with no visible places to get caught up. I have my doubts that even a seasoned climber would dare search the high places on Kehrlein. Too dangerous to tool around up there. The register has never been checked. I only hope that eventually, it is checked for an entry made by Matt Greene.
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Re: Join the 3rd annual citizen search for Matthew Greene!

Postby Shawn » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:46 pm

Hey Jim,

Thanks for the follow-up report. It is a very admirable effort put forth by you and the others. I don’t know why so many of us have emotion tied up with Matthew either, but be assured many do. I suspect the uncommon circumstances tend to get under our skin, as it were, and intrigue us until the mystery is solved and the family has closure. Not knowing his itinerary probably adds to the draw.

One day his fate will be known, let us hope it is sooner rather than later.
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Re: Join the 3rd annual citizen search for Matthew Greene!

Postby Shhsgirl » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:24 pm

We were on the other side of the Minarets from you on the same days, and I thought quite often about what you were doing. Matthew will be found, eventually. If he had been my son or brother, I would be so grateful to you.
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Re: Join the 3rd annual citizen search for Matthew Greene!

Postby Jimr » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:17 am

Shawn and Shhsgirl,
Your comments are heartfelt and appreciated. One little experience I had while sitting on a rocky outcropping below the access chute to the ridge was as I sat there searching around the debris field below Starr, I was being continually buzzed by flies. It reminded me of how Norman Clyde found Pete Starr. Three years have gone by, so I was fairly sure there would be no reason for a similar circumstance (trying to choose my words carefully), but still, I sat for a bit and followed a fly as it buzzed around me. Then I realized that there were only one or two flies continually buzzing me. I experienced the same thing when I was at the base of Kehrlein, so I chalked it up to an interesting observation.
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