Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info? | High Sierra Topix  

Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

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: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby maverick » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:33 pm

There are not many good spots to camp after the campsites at 9600 ft, maybe the
one pond (if it has not dried up) a little further up, or some where at the top. He only
had light till maybe 6:45, and he would need to be near some water source.
With the loss of half a day because of the late start he had to cut his itinerary and make
a decision to go either north or south at the JMT junction.
We know he like to climb, so did Split or Pinochet entice him more? I think he would
do Split, not only because of the climb itself, but because he intended to come through
this area and do Upper Basin Pass to Amp Basin next year with a friend starting from
Birch Lake. If it were me I would have gone up into Upper Basin on Sat base camped
somewhere in-between Spit and UBP, go day hike towards UBP to check things
out. (There is a nasty boulder field at the start of the ascent, which is a place of interest.
one could slip and get lodged in-between the boulders).
The next day it would have been up Spit with an early start so if I got back early
enough I could get to the JMT-Taboose Pass junction for dinner, and be out on Monday.
If he is okay up to this point and wakes up to snow fall from the storm that came a day
earlier than expected and conditions that included high winds may have forced him
to stay put, and attempt to wait things out. Forecast for Tuesday was 40-45 mph winds
with windchill of -8, which may have forced him to retreat down the Muro Blanco to
lower elevation like SSSDave had mentioned.
Why has he not signaled SAR, he would have at least made a fire to keep warm, would
he not? Where is his tent? He has a MSR tent that is pretty sturdy could it be buried
by the snow? From the picture SEKI posted it doesn't look like to much snow, at least
not enough to bury his tent, but maybe the weight of accumulated snow colapsed it.
As mentioned before, no tent than he was mobile and in-route and something happened
find the tent than he was out climbing or checking some lake out, or had some kind type
of medical emergency.
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: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby maverick » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:58 pm

Yes there is a system arriving Wednesday and may continue into Thursday, but it is
only 20% and 30% chance, which may mean nothing or much, especially if your using
the NWS/NOAA site which is showing only one day, with a 20% chance 15 miles north
of the area. But as of now from Friday on it is clear with a warming trend.
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: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby rlown » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:01 pm

Doesn't really matter.. he didn't burn something. Why would that be?
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby frediver » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:07 pm

After all the discussion here concerning Muro Blanco I find it odd that SAR has not responded at least yes or no to the idea. Heck it seems to me that some of the members here know Larry and his habits much better than SAR ever will and they should be listened to, these members are not the gen public nor are they arm chair backpackers.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby freestone » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:08 pm

What we don't know is how he filled out on his permit, but SEKI does. The accuracy of the permit is up to the applicant. On my permit, I stated I was spending 3 nights at Bench lake, the reality was, I spent only one. Going solo is such a crap shoot!
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby maverick » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:21 pm

SEKI Public Affairs,

First thank you for giving us such detailed information (as much as you can) and for
keeping us updated.
Second it came to my attention that the Roads End is slated for closure next
week, is this correct? The reason I am asking is that we would like to have one of
our groups ascend the Muro Blanco via Paradise Valley, which would be helpful for
the overall search effort, especially since there has been not indication that it has
been searched by foot.
Keeping it open an extra week would save time and effort which would be wasted if they
had to climb Taboose, descend the Muro Blanco, and then have to ascend it back to the
Taboose area. Please give clarification on this issue. Thank You.
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: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby SEKI Public Affairs » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:59 pm

Additional information about the search for Larry Conn has been posted on Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ website at http://www.nps.gov/seki/parknews/newsreleases.htm today:

- a news release
- a slide program (with captions)
- the same photos in the slide program (saved individually)
- a map of the search area
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby Mike M. » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:26 pm

Given the fact that Larry entered the wilderness on a Friday and expected to exit three days later on a Monday, it is unlikely he would choose to summit Split Mountain, then reverse direction and explore the area south of Pinchot. There just wouldn't have been enough time. If Split was his primary objective, then, It seems to me, it would be much more likely for him to explore the lakes in the basins around Split, Prater and Cardinal mountains. By Sunday, he would have wanted to be within hailing distance of Taboose Pass, somewhere near where the JMT and Taboose trails intersect, if not even closer to the pass.

If Split was not Larry's primary objective, my judgement is he didn't have time to try for it AND spend time in the Window Peaks area, for instance.

Assuming he is not hurt but was caught in a wicked storm, I think he would head for the forested area next to the river, just above the 10,000 foot level, a little east of the JMT trail. There is ample wood there and it is a logical staging point for him to hunker down, gather his strength, wait for a weather window to open, then bolt over the pass.

Although others have suggested it, it seems to me highly unlikely he would have chosen to descend the Muro Blanco to get below the snowline or find a more sheltered camp. That is an arduous hike in the best of weather, involving multiple stream crossings or major bushwhacking. I've done it; you wouldn't want to in this weather.

The fact he hasn't shown up at the trailhead is very disturbing, as all of you realize, and suggests there is more going on than a weather event. Judging from Larry's posts here, he is a strong and resourceful hiker and mentally equipped to deal with a backcountry injury. If his permit indicated he was headed to Split, then I would focus the search in the high lake basins and feasible cross country routes in that area. As another poster mentioned, the outlet stream to Lake 11,599 (on the old 15 minute maps) is a likely staging area for a summit of Split. The walk up Split is easy and straightforward. Once on top, it might be tempting to fool around in the various gullies that shoot off from the summit. They are airy.

I hope and pray this turns out well. Kudos to the men and women out there now looking for him.

Mike
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby caveman » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:00 am

I'm a friend of Larry's and scanned through his facebook albums. I found this picture from his album "SouthernSierraSnowStorm". May 15, 2011. His comment was "The view from outside my tent this morning". I know its been over a year ago and that he could have used a different tent this time or replaced that one since then. Has the tent with the yellow rainfly on the SEKI post been verified? I have also backpacked with Larry a few times in the past. As DP Hiker mentioned, Larry stuck with us on the main trail between base camps and then typically set off on his own to explore the surrounding area. Sometimes he would show up a little late from his day hike exploration, but I never worried about him because he is such an experienced hiker. I remember him sharing one blog story of a hairy situation he got into on one of his solo hikes, but he got through it. Larry is a survivor. I'm still rooting for him.
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larrytent.jpg
Larry's tent?
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby ryboards » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:07 am

No info-just hoping for a safe return for a fellow hiker.
The mountains are calling and I must go.

~John Muir
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby maverick » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:34 am

Hi Caveman,

Thanks for posting the picture and the info. If you mean verified as in knowing the
make and model than yes, if you mean found than no.
Can either you or DP Hiker or eee333 tell me what rain gear Larry had of late? Make
and color? Any current picture would be great. Also what shirt and pants, make and
colors he may have had for this hike? This info would also be helpful.
Would any of you be the hiker he was planning to take along from Birch Lake to
Amphitheater Basin next year? I need any info he may have discussed in regards to
the proposed route. If it was neither of you, do you know who? Please PM me! Thank you.
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: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby orbitor » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:44 am

Last night, local station KCAL 9 in LA aired a story on the search for Larry (since Larry is a resident of Pacific Palisades). His friend Claus was interviewed and they showed several shots of Claus at his computer, browsing this thread.
Good to see that the word got out to the media.

Link to the story:
http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/10/ ... mountains/
Connect, Learn and Climb: Sierra Mountaineering Club
http://www.sierramountaineeringgroup.org
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