Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area | High Sierra Topix  

Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Use this forum to stay informed on missing persons alerts, active SAR's and unfortunate hiker accidents we can all hopefully learn from. Any information you may have on a missing person, including first hand weather related information or any other insight (however little) may prove to be critical information to Law Enforcement / SAR in locating the person in question.
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby maverick » Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:25 pm

Also, if anyone was out in the Whitney area, especially in the area in question, please post them here for reference, would like to see snow condition.
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby Shawn » Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:47 pm

The Whitney webcam archive link is not working; maybe someone knows of another source.

These pics are from the WPS forum, taken on 11/8/15 (from the portal and beyond):

Image

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Image
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby maverick » Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:51 pm

Fantastic Shawn, these are from the day before Michael would have headed up. :thumbsup:

The Whitney webcam archive link is not working; maybe someone knows of another source.


Exactly, hope someone here knows someone who can access it, will call up there tomorrow.

Thanks again for the photo's!
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby LAhiker » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:47 am

Over on Whitney Zone, Steve C has posted at least one picture taken from the Whitney webcam from the morning of 11/9:

http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthread ... #Post44842

He's got a whole collection of pictures from the Whitney webcam that day:
https://stevec.smugmug.com/Other/Whitne ... /i-ZXMHShG

To my unpracticed eye, it looks like there are some big clouds rolling by in the morning, but they're interspersed with blue sky. Don't know whether they plus the weather forecast (if he had it) would be enough to make Mike change his objective. In later morning it clears up a bit. Then at around 1pm, it gets very cloudy with what looks like intermittent snow, other precipitation, or fog. By evening it looks pretty socked in. If Mike did set out toward Irvine (or some other objective), I wonder whether he would have turned back or hunkered down when it clouded up. It looks like visibility would have been intermittently bad during the afternoon, which might have led him to become disoriented at some point.

But y'all know better than I do.
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby maverick » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:27 am

Contacted Steve last night requesting the webcam footage, he sent it to me last night, it has been forwarded to Michaels parents.
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby LAhiker » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:11 pm

I'm wondering -- have there been any new thoughts or information on where Meyers is likely to have gone -- for instance, about whether he is likely to have pursued his planned route to Mt. Irvine on 11/9 despite the weather forecast? Maverick and others, do you happen to know whether anyone saw or spoke with him?

I'm wondering -- does the Inyo County Sheriff's Dept have adequate resources for the search? I mean, presumably every search could use more resources, and one can't produce resources out of thin air. But I'm wondering whether some other SAR entities might be able to assist them, whether any training exercises could be deployed to the area, etc.

One thing that confused me is today's ABC7 story which says that the search might be hampered by bad weather this weekend. But the forecast seems pretty good for the weekend. Maybe ABC7 just got it wrong, or maybe when they spoke with Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze, the chance of of precipitation that is now expected midweek was expected this weekend...
http://abc7.com/news/storm-in-sierras-m ... t/1093120/
Last edited by LAhiker on Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby Eigenguy » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:19 pm

LAhiker wrote:I'm wondering -- does the Inyo County Sheriff's Dept have adequate resources for the search? I mean, presumably every search could use more resources, and one can't produce resources out of thin air. But I'm wondering whether some other SAR entities might be able to assist them, whether any training exercises could be deployed to the area, etc.


I don't think any SAR has adequate resources for these searches, but they do their best. Inyo SAR is pretty active because of the number of hikers that get lost or injured and also very capable. I don't recall having outside agencies be involved in these searches, except for maybe in the Steve Fossett search and that was mainly because it involved so many potential counties (Mono, Madera, Mariposa/Yosemite, Tuolumne/Yosemite). He ended up being found by a hiker in a part of Madera County that is covered by Mono SAR.

Unfortunately, this type of case is the worst situation. There is pretty much no information (except for the car), like with Matt Greene and Larry Conn. It usually isn't SAR that finds them. :(

LAhiker wrote:One thing that confused me is today's ABC7 story which says that the search might be hampered by bad weather this weekend. But the forecast seems pretty good for the weekend. Maybe ABC7 just got it wrong, or maybe when they spoke with Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze, the chance of of precipitation that is now expected midweek was expected this weekend...
http://abc7.com/news/storm-in-sierras-m ... t/1093120/


Originally, there was supposed to be a storm this weekend. I know because I made it a point to get up here to Mammoth before the storm hit. It seems to have either been eliminated, or delayed until mid-week.
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby LAhiker » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:25 pm

Thanks, Eigenguy! That's very helpful. I'm glad the bad weather is holding off for now.
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby maverick » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:11 pm

A storm is due in on Wed and Thur, it will have snow and low temps, this will most likely cover up any evidence, and suspend the search. :(

Inyo SAR is well capable of searching the area, they will get assistance from other counties, if needed, and joint training missions could be conducted at a later time, as they did in the Conn case, Sierra Madre SAR were the ones who found the Conn evidence 8 months later, they were also there when we were out looking for Larry.

Unfortunately, this type of case is the worst situation. There is pretty much no information (except for the car), like with Matt Greene and Larry Conn. It usually isn't SAR that finds them. :(


Incorrect, Mike left a letter in his car, writing that he was going to climb Mt. Irvine, and that if he had time, then also bag Mt. LeConte. From talking to Mikes friend, it is most likely that he did proceed with his climb, and most likely was unaware of the incoming storm.
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby Eigenguy » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:22 pm

Incorrect, Mike left a letter in his car, writing that he was going to climb Mt. Irvine, and that if he had time, then also bag Mt. LeConte. From talking to Mikes friend, it is most likely that he did proceed with his climb, and most likely was unaware of the incoming storm.


That may be the case, but I can only base my statement on what has been made public, and I haven't seen anything about a note in the car.
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby LAhiker » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:30 am

maverick wrote:A storm is due in on Wed and Thur, it will have snow and low temps, this will most likely cover up any evidence, and suspend the search. :(


I sure hope they find him, or evidence of him, before the storm hits!

Inyo SAR is well capable of searching the area, they will get assistance from other counties, if needed, and joint training missions could be conducted at a later time, as they did in the Conn case, Sierra Madre SAR were the ones who found the Conn evidence 8 months later, they were also there when we were out looking for Larry.


Thanks for your reply -- I'm glad Inyo SAR has the resources to be on top of things.

Mike left a letter in his car, writing that he was going to climb Mt. Irvine, and that if he had time, then also bag Mt. LeConte. From talking to Mikes friend, it is most likely that he did proceed with his climb, and most likely was unaware of the incoming storm.


If you get the chance, I had a few questions. Was the car at the Meysan Lake trailhead (or wherever Mike would have begun his climb) or somewhere else, such as where he might have been camping? I assume all of this has been figured out, but wanted to double-check that whatever happened did so on the trail rather than on the way to the trailhead. Also, do you happen to know whether the letter had a date (and even a time) on it -- did it appear have been written on the morning of 11/9, or perhaps earlier in the weekend? I was wondering whether it was in effect saying "this is what I plan to do Monday" or "this is what I'm about to do right now."

Assuming Mike did begin his planned hike to Mt. Irvine, is it possible to estimate (based on sunrise times, when he tended to start in the morning, his usual speed, and trail characteristics) roughly where he might have been when the storm hit that afternoon?
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Postby maverick » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:07 am

Mikes dad e-mailed me last night, his helmet was found, no further info is known on where it was found, let's hope this leads to them finding Mike soon!
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