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 TehipiteTom » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:28 pm

Mike M. wrote:If I read this right, that's actually a photo from Larry's tent, not of his tent. Is that right?

Mike

The wording is slightly ambiguous, but I think the key phrase is "from outside my tent".



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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby ERIC » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:43 pm

TehipiteTom wrote:The wording is slightly ambiguous, but I think the key phrase is "from outside my tent".


In any case, believe what's pictured is a Kelty Gunnison?
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby rlown » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:48 pm

I'm more worried about the impending storm and the forecast at this point:

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.ph ... 8080444336

Another dusting of snow won't help the search.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby bkpkr » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:38 pm

This is a very disturbing story, and even more upsetting by the fact Larry is considered as a very experienced hiker/backpacker but still has been over due for seven days. No signs of his presence (after bumping into another hiker on his first day) have been found by SAR so far, most likely due to being wiped up by the previous storm (especially snow). It would suggest he is immobilized or in out-of-search area (which seems less likely). A tent is not that difficult to spot but was not yet seen from air or grand. The area is vast and time is running fast which put even more stress on his rescuers, family and friends. By now his food and fuel (which translate to water) sources are out or almost out; unless, he is somewhere by the water source (lake or creek). In any case the new storm is coming in soon which may dramatically lower his survival chances.

SAR is doing incredible work; anyone here is trying to help any way they can; some were even planning to go to the mountain area and perform the search--all good intentions.

This reminds me of a similar story in the past. A hiker was missing for nearly two weeks and SAR had called off and on the search due to rapidly changing and dangerous conditions. Over 40 people were involved in the search (including by air and with dogs), but on the end he was found by his friend who learned about the incident after 10 days and drove to the mountain to perform a search on his own even though the local sheriff tried to discourage him.

The point is all these clues and suggestions are in good faith and may, but not necessarily, help SAR with the right strategy. A person who knows Larry, who thinks like Larry, who has hiked with Larry might be more successful with retracing Larry’s (invisible) footsteps and become aware of possible traps than a team of well organized rescuers.

Hope Larry will be found soon.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby frediver » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:50 pm

"Professionals" sometimes overlook what might seem obvious to the untrained.
At this point in time does it really matter who finds Larry?
The only concern now should be not to misplace anyone who is
searching.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby Pescadorios » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:03 pm

No update - just sending well wishes to the search and rescue teams and prayers for Larry, his family and Larry's safe return!
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby Jimr » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:05 pm

A tent is very difficult to spot from the air. A well trained flight crew can easily miss a small tent in such a vast wilderness. The mind tends to filter out detail for the sake of the big picture. It would be easier if the tent were a gaudy, contrasting color that stood out profusely against the colors of nature. Few, if any of us own such a thing. I know first hand how easily a helicopter can be within 100 ft of you, looking for you and not see you even though you are waving at them like a mad man.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby SSSdave » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:21 pm

To expand a bit on Jimr 's post. Consider that if a storm was coming, a person is more likely to tent in a location with wind protection. Such locations may be beneath stunted whitebark pines or next to large boulders below cliffs at talus runouts. Places difficult to view by aircraft.

Another thing that may have happened is quentinc may have taken a minor fall while peakbagging that did not entirely incapacitate him. For many injuries, especially joint/bone/muscle injuries, a person is most capable of still functioning during a short period after an injury occurs before things swell up. So he might have broken a bone in his foot or ankle say such that he was able to hobble down some minor distance to a tentable spot where he managed to put up his tent before the end of Sunday. Then Monday morning he woke up but was unable to move maybe because any movement caused sharp pain or he became barely delious or unconscious. Thus was unable to even get up and out of his tent. Subsequently the tent could be covered with snow with him inside still quite alive though injured. And he could be slowly eating his food laying inside his sleeping bag knowing it had to last. And water would be easily had with snow available right out his tent door.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby caveman » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:47 pm

I mean verified that the SEKI-posted tent was verified by Claus or someone else that it was the tent that was taken on this trip. I'm Glen Raines, president of the hiking group , Perfect Pace. DP Hiker is one of our trip leaders. DP Hiker thinks that one of our members, Alan, may be the hiker who he was planning to take along from Birch Lake to Amphitheater Basin next year. I will contact Alan to find out if this is the case. Alan hiked with Larry on the trip that the tent picture was taken. The wording on the facebook post was ambiguous to me as well, but Alan verified with me that the Kelty tent was Larry's tent on the picture I posted. Since they ran into inclement weather on that trip as well, I'm hoping Alan may be able to remember the rain gear Larry was wearing. One of our trip leader's Mike, has incredible memory, and hoping he may be able to remember Larry's gear as well. Larry has attended 28 trips with Perfect Pace since 2007. The last trip he attended with us was the southern sierran tip backpack 3/2-3/4. I have verified with DP Hiker that Larry used the SEKI-posted tent on our Santa Cruz Island trip on May 2011, so it may very well be the one taken on this trip. We have already sent a post to our members to supply any information that may be helpful in the search effort. We are also scanning our pictures for any clues on the clothing or gear he may have taken. If there is anything else we can do to help, let me know.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby thegib » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:44 pm

Does anyone know what peaks in the area he's climbed before - so we can cross them off the list? Have the ground teams found any summit registers yet? Which ones? so we can cross them off the list. Speaking for myself, I wouldn't go out Muro Blanco under most any circumstances. Taboose is far and away the most desirable way out. If you can't make it through the howling wind, you sit tight then wait till you can. If you're hurt, you won't get far down the S. Fork anyway. So you'd sit tight and try to build fires. To those going up to help search, has anything changed? are you coordinating in any way w/SEKI?
Not finding a camp makes me think the worst, that he fell with full pack on while going x-cntry. I'd look carefully on both sides of the north ridge of Pinchot. As reconnoitering the JMT is a waste of time, perhaps he went to the lake just north of Pinchot pass then turned SW to cross at 3720m+, descending to the White Fork, with the idea of heading NNW over 3740m+ and looping back to Bench lake. Easier might be to cross Pinchot pass N to S, then head up to cross the N ridge of Crater Mtn, bag Crater, descend to White fork as above, loop to Bench and out. It's doable in 4 days.
Good luck to all searchers.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby thegib » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:09 pm

Given the last thing he said was "explore Pinchot pass" I say day one: east side of Taboose. Day two follow JMT to Pinchot pass, then follow the ridge till it connects with the N ridge of Crater Mtn. Bag Crater if you've time, then descend to the lake at 3460m+ (headwaters of White fork). Day three, bag Ickes then cross over to the NW at 3740m+ and descend to as close to Bench as you can get. Day four out. That's a great little route.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby sparky » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:55 pm

I have been studying the routes around mt pinchot, striped, goodale, and mt wynne. Mt Wynne sounds like something I would shoot for especially if I was behind schedual and tired....I don't know if Larry would make that descision.

He might have been tired. He was behind schedual on day one. It might have taken him the better part of day 2 to reach taboose pass. If I was in this situation, I would most likely head south.

"Creeks around pinchot pass" If I wanted to check those out, and was behind schedual, but wanted to hit a peak...Mt Wynne and/or Mt Pinchot would be perfect, with Striped and/or Goodale second on the list. I have read the rock around goodale sucks, and is loose "kitty litter" This could be dangerous. Striped is more solid. Wynne is rarely visited (most atrractive to me) very little info on it....class 2/3 via west ridge class 3 via north ridge
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