Official INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker (Resolved)

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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gdurkee
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Re: INYO SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress

Post by gdurkee » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:59 pm

Hi All:

I've been called to assist in this SAR but, because of other commitments, won't get to SEKI until Friday. If you know of ANYONE either in the immediate search area (South Lake to LeConte or JMT etc) or ANYONE hiking from east side between Piute and Whitney, could you have them PM me here with contact information, when they were in the area and the weather conditions they encountered -- especially winds on the West side of the crest? Or, if they're not an HST member, could you pass on that information? Once I join SAR (if it's still going...) I'll update people here. Many thanks for your input so far!

George Durkee
Sequoia Kings SAR
National Park Service








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maverick
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Update 10/19

Post by maverick » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:05 pm


SEKI NP:

Park officials are requesting the public's help with information regarding a missing hiker. On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, park dispatch was notified of an overdue hiker visiting the wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park. Robert "Bob" Woodie, a 74-year-old from Manhattan Beach, CA, was supposed to return from a backpacking trip on Sunday, October 16, 2016.

Mr. Woodie's intended route of travel may have been from South Lake, outside Bishop, CA, into the park via Bishop Pass starting on Thursday, October 13, 2016. He was possibly at Barrett Lakes, southeast of Dusy Basin, on the evening of Saturday, October 15, 2016, based on an electronic check-in message received from his satellite message device. The area experienced some inclement weather during this timeframe, with some areas above about 10,500 ft receiving snow. Overnight temperatures continue to be below freezing.

Mr. Woodie is an experienced hiker who is familiar with the area. He is caucasian with brown hair and brown eyes and is 5'5" and around 150 pounds. He was possibly carrying a blue shell type jacket, baseball cap or floppy hat, and boots. He is reported to have an internal frame backpack, possibly blue in color, and no hiking poles.

Two helicopters and 20 field personnel participated in park search operations today, with operations planned for Thursday, October, 20, 2016. The area is a high sierra alpine environment, between approximately 8,000 and 12,000 feet elevation. The rugged terrain includes areas of forest, alpine lakes, and areas above tree line with talus slopes and rocky mountain passes.

This search and rescue incident is being coordinated with the Inyo County Sheriff's Department, which is simultaneously performing search operations adjacent to the park boundary within Inyo National Forest.

Anyone who may have come across Mr. Woodie or have any other information is encouraged to contact Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks at 559-565-3117 with their name, contact information. Please contact the park if you were in this area since Thursday, October 13, 2016, even if you do not believe you saw Mr. Woodie.
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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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Questions/Theories

Post by maverick » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:11 pm

After receiving the above information, I have a diifficult time believing that Robert planned to hike out from Barrett Lakes, over one of the 3 passes, thru Dusy Basin, over Bishop Pass, and down to South Lake on Sunday at 74 years old, especially with the impending weather conditions.

Have any SPOT owners sent "OK" messages from a location and found out later that the location was wrong and off by miles? Could a storm have impacted the location reading?

A question for those of you who are experienced backpackers in your late 60's and early 70's, where would you have camped the night before your exit out in this situation, especially if you knew that a major storm was due in?

Snow fell on Saturday, he sent his 'OK" Saturday night, would he not have tried to get as close as possible to Bishop Pass or over the pass before Sunday?
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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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Question/Theories

Post by maverick » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:46 am

SEKI Public Affairs,

If Roberts tent was damaged during the Saturday night and storm continued to get worse into Sunday, Robert needed to find cover to get out of the elements as much as possible. Barrett Lakes does not offer such, it is pretty barren, but there is some tree cover at around 10500 ft of Barrett Creek, as it starts its plunge down towards Deer Meadow, which is where I would, and have waited out a storm before.
It is reported that he was familiar with this area, so he may have been aware of this and something happened to him on the way there or in that small forested section.


Members and Outdoor Communities,

We are hoping that someone from the family or friend may be chiming in sometime today, his sons have been out with Inyo SAR searching. Those of you, and I know their are many, who are intimately familiar with the Barrett Lakes area, please voice your ideas on what you would have done, where you would have gone in this case.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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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SAR request

Post by maverick » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:21 pm

SAR is requesting information on the weather conditions in the area starting Fri thru Sun. We have that video footage posted earlier, but they are requesting confirmation on when the snow started to fall, how much fell each day, and how windy the conditions were on each day. Thank you for any information on this subject matter that you may be able to provide here.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress

Post by seanr » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:16 pm

maverick wrote: Have any SPOT owners sent "OK" messages from a location and found out later that the location was wrong and off by miles?
Yes; the location has been significantly wrong extremely rarely, but yes it has happened to me. However, I have never had my location not eventually be accurate in cases where I successfully sent more than one message. I would be surprised if messages had trouble getting through in that area unless the batteries were low or unless the user was physically unable to continue activating the device. With my Spot Gen 3, I have sometimes had spotty message activation in forest cover and canyons. My original Spot Gen 1 was reliable enough in comparison that I was comfortable trying the updated model.


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Re: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress

Post by maverick » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:24 pm

Thank you for chiming in with that information Sean, much appreciated.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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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SEKI Request

Post by maverick » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:22 pm

SEKI is requesting anyone who was out in the Bishop Pass, Dust basin, Barrett Lakes area, and you saw or did not see Robert between the 13th-16th, they need you to chime in with that info.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress

Post by oleander » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:41 pm

I use a Spot Generation 3. Maybe 10-15% of the time, the "OK" check-in message fails to send, usually because of heavy tree cover. However, for the "OK" messages that do get transmitted successfully, I've never once noticed it showing an incorrect position (more than 1/10 of a mile off).

If he had tracking on: My once-every-10-minute tracking locations are sometimes off, because of tree cover or because the unit has gone upside-down in my pack. In those cases, the transmission can bounce off a ridge a mile or two away, making it look as if I've climbed a massive ridge in 10 minutes (and then retreated to my original location in the next 10 minutes).

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Re: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress

Post by maverick » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:13 pm

Thank you Oleander for taking the time to supply this information, much appreciated. :)
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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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