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 KathyW » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:42 pm

caveman wrote:I'm not sure if this has been suggested yet (which may be stating the obvious), but if you go to this link:

search.php?author_id=55&sr=posts

it gives all the posts that Larry made on HST which is 890 total. It holds some valuable insight on the trips he has been on, some of the peaks and passes he has already climbed, the routes he has taken, his views, his stories, etc. I noticed for instance one his posts was in response to the question "What is your route planning like?" His reply was

"I hardly plan at all. There, someone had to say it.

I always have at least a rough itinerary in mind, but I often change my mind part-way through. Once I went over Lamarck Col, with the idea of eventually ending up at South Lake. After climbing Mt. Spencer, I decided to head the other way on the JMT, and ended up back at North Lake via Gemini, Feather and Puppet Passes. It was one of my favorite trips. Most of my trips are solo, and I never reserve permits in advance, so I don't even do that part of the planning. There's nothing like the freedom of the wilderness."

I notice his other posts describes his previous Taboose trips. One post suggests to me he has climbed Split before. And this I got just scanning the first 100 or so. There is a wealth of information there to help piece clues together.


Great idea to check the posts. I kept thinking that if he had not climbed Split before he might have done that and then dropped into either the Red Lake Drainage on purpose or the Tinemaha Creek Drainage by mistake. I thought that area might be a good idea to go and check, but I don't think so anymore if he's already climbed Split.

I have been watching the weather and it looks like it might snow up in that area on Thursday. If it does, it will make travel even more difficult. Everyone please be careful out there - it sounds like there's just enough snow to make it slippery and unforgiving.



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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby SEKI Public Affairs » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:33 pm

Updated information about the search for missing hiker Larry Conn at Kings Canyon National Park has been posted at http://www.nps.gov/seki/parknews/newsreleases.htm.

- News release
- Updated map of the search area

If you do not see the Oct. 30 info, hit "Refresh" once or twice and it should show up.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby bkpkr » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:47 pm

Source: http://www.nps.gov/seki/parknews/upload ... 0-2012.pdf
Despite aggressive searching, no clues have been located that have been tied to Larry Conn since he was seen by another hiker near his vehicle on October 19. Ground search assignments have been completed, and ground teams have been removed from the search area. Aerial searches are expected to continue on Wednesday.

Does it mean that the ground search is called off?
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby BrianF » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:18 pm

Sad to say, but it does appear that the ground search is over, at least until any further developments, probably in part to the potential snow coming. They do say that they will continue air searches tomorrow. I hope that they will run an air search after Thursdays snow, on the off chance of new sign.
Thank you to all the SAR and NPS personnel who have put it on the line to search for our cohort. By my tally from the SEKI daily news releases at least 227 man days were spent on the search (plus dogs and at least 2 helos everyday), that is alot of eyes and talent trying to find any clues without luck. The snow hides whatever and wherever something happened to Larry.
The direction you are moving in is what matters, not the place you happen to be -Colin Fletcher
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby schmalz » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:29 pm

A huge thanks goes out to all of the brave SAR members who tried to save our friend.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby Critter » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:25 pm

Caveman's post of this date with suggestion that the 890 posts from Larry might provide clues as to habits (or lack thereof) of Larry sticking to any kind of itinerary is valuable. I am a friend who just registered onto this site and have carefully read each of Larry's posts as suggested by Caveman. I have no idea about hiking, backpacking or anything remotely close, however I do know Larry is a maverick and his posts scream out that he NEVER follows his planned routes or itineraries or whatever you folks call them. Additionally, within these posts, he is drawing you a virtual map as to the color of his tents, clothing, his food stocks, etc, etc. I strongly recommend that someone at SAR take a couple of hours to review Larry's posts. Please see the pasted examples below and God speed.

------------------------------------
Re: new
by quentinc on Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:33 pm

I also backpack alone all the time. While I'm not advocating this for others, I take no precautions -- no itinerary, no SPOT. I often change my mind as to my itinerary while I'm out anyway. I go over crazy off-trail passes all the time, and generally try to find areas with no one in miles. My only concession to age is to see if I can go further on the first day than I've ever gone in the past. I finally made it all the way to Darwin Bench on the first day from North Lake last weekend, and I didn't get started until 11am. (This trick been working for the past 2 years, but I know at some point the jig will be up! )

And still....I'm convinced that by far the most danger I face is driving back home. (The stretch from Palmdale to LA at night is sheer terror.) Solo backpacking is a wonderful lesson in self-sufficiency.
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Re: How do you plan your trip?
by quentinc on Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:37 pm

I'm with the free spirits here. I don't own a GPS or even a compass, and have never tried Google Earth. I go to the wilderness to escape technology, not to import it.

I'm also down with the spur of the moment philosophy. Last summer I planned on a North Lake (via Lamarck Col) to South Lake trip, but ended up turning around in Evolution Valley and heading down the Muir Trail in the complete opposite direction, eventually winding back cross-country through Bear Lakes Basin, Feather Pass and Puppet Pass. And it was absolutely wonderful (although a bit too hard for the 7 days I had available).

------------------------------------------


Re: Let people know (where you're going)
by quentinc on Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:09 pm

bheiser1 wrote:
(What insurance does the SAR team charge? Health insurance? in the way an ambulance service would?)

Good question -- I bet most health insurers would refuse to cover SAR.
Who does cover the cost of SAR? I know the rescuers volunteer their time (and deserve a Purple Heart for it!), but what about the helicopters, etc? I guess the NPS.

As someone who would make a bad "rescuee" (I change my mind on the fly too much to leave a meaningful detailed itinerary), I have to say I'd gladly pay if it were my life that was being saved. Who wouldn't?

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Last edited by Critter on Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby frediver » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:24 am

Many by now are thinking dire thoughts so I thought I would post this link:
http://www.aviation-history.com/lockheed/steeves.htm
There is lots of additional information if you want to do a simple web search.
Short version,IMO Lt.Steeves had worse odds.
Granted he was coming out of winter rather than going into but the conditions at this time
of year are similar and Larry has more stuff.
He landed in Dusy Basin, early May, zip for equipment.
Canopy was found over by Ladder lake in 77 Just FYI.
IIRC the exit point was near Cedar Grove.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby frediver » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:44 am

Still curious after going over the posts again:
Has anyone considered the area between Mt. Pinchot and Mt.Goodale ?
I wonder what I would try to do if I found myself in the area of Pinchot and the weather started
closing in, the prospect of picking my way to a shortcut or retracing my steps would be tough to resist.
The sat maps I have seen make me think a shortcut to the east side of Taboose Trail might be found
and from what I have been reading Larry like to cut his own trail.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby ERIC » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:09 am

I'm going to refrain from saying too much on maverick's troubling rant because I think it detracts from this thread's value in providing useful intel related to Larry's possible whereabouts.

If anyone wishes to discuss the independent search effort further, let's please discuss it here from now on.

Here's to Larry one day reading this thread..
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby Jimr » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:50 am

"Here's to Larry one day reading this thread.."
Here here

We ALL care!

Mav, Sparky, Shawn, be careful. Why, because we care.
What?!
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Alternate (maverick's) search thread.

Postby Critter » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:54 am

Caveman's post of this date with suggestion that the 890 posts from Larry might provide clues as to habits (or lack thereof) of Larry sticking to any kind of itinerary is valuable. I am a friend who just registered onto this site and have carefully read each of Larry's posts as suggested by Caveman. I have no idea about hiking, backpacking or anything remotely close, however I do know Larry is a maverick and his posts scream out that he NEVER follows his planned routes or itineraries or whatever you folks call them. Additionally, within these posts, he is drawing you a virtual map as to the color of his tents, clothing, his food stocks, etc, etc. I strongly recommend that someone at SAR take a couple of hours to review Larry's posts. Please see the pasted examples below and God speed.

------------------------------------
Re: new
by quentinc on Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:33 pm

I also backpack alone all the time. While I'm not advocating this for others, I take no precautions -- no itinerary, no SPOT. I often change my mind as to my itinerary while I'm out anyway. I go over crazy off-trail passes all the time, and generally try to find areas with no one in miles. My only concession to age is to see if I can go further on the first day than I've ever gone in the past. I finally made it all the way to Darwin Bench on the first day from North Lake last weekend, and I didn't get started until 11am. (This trick been working for the past 2 years, but I know at some point the jig will be up! )

And still....I'm convinced that by far the most danger I face is driving back home. (The stretch from Palmdale to LA at night is sheer terror.) Solo backpacking is a wonderful lesson in self-sufficiency.
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Re: How do you plan your trip?
by quentinc on Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:37 pm

I'm with the free spirits here. I don't own a GPS or even a compass, and have never tried Google Earth. I go to the wilderness to escape technology, not to import it.

I'm also down with the spur of the moment philosophy. Last summer I planned on a North Lake (via Lamarck Col) to South Lake trip, but ended up turning around in Evolution Valley and heading down the Muir Trail in the complete opposite direction, eventually winding back cross-country through Bear Lakes Basin, Feather Pass and Puppet Pass. And it was absolutely wonderful (although a bit too hard for the 7 days I had available).

------------------------------------------


Re: Let people know (where you're going)
by quentinc on Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:09 pm

bheiser1 wrote:
(What insurance does the SAR team charge? Health insurance? in the way an ambulance service would?)

Good question -- I bet most health insurers would refuse to cover SAR.
Who does cover the cost of SAR? I know the rescuers volunteer their time (and deserve a Purple Heart for it!), but what about the helicopters, etc? I guess the NPS.

As someone who would make a bad "rescuee" (I change my mind on the fly too much to leave a meaningful detailed itinerary), I have to say I'd gladly pay if it were my life that was being saved. Who wouldn't?

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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby SSSdave » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:23 am

As all of us, am still hoping quentinc appears...

I've made 7 posts on this thread speculating on where quentinc might be, what his condition might be, and what might be factors in his decisions. (Search on sssdave on pages 1 2 5 8 10 18. After a couple brief inputs I offered a longer analysis on page 5.) At this point search teams have left. A new smaller balmy though dangerous winter storm is approaching today that is forecast to lay down maybe a foot or so of additional snow making further searching both more difficult to perform and also less likely to bare results. Aerial search will fly over areas one last time again today before the storm.

We can still hope quentinc is alive and will be found but probabilities at this point are ... Even if he is stuck injured at some unpleasant place difficult to move, his food would be low or gone. Enough time has passed that lack of food would make him weak but he would very much still be alive and could last more days. Water would likely not be an issue. However if he was at all able to move around a bit consciously, he would have already done obvious things to help searches find him like putting some bright colorful part of his gear out in the open, shining flashlights, using a reflecting mirror, or burning some smoky item like wood whenever he heard helicopters or planes. Additionally searchers have not come across any tracks that is a strong argument that he was never able to move. These have not happened which is a reason in such situations SAR teams eventually come to a conclusion that a missing person was incapacitated from an early time and given history of similar searches rightfully close up their operations.

Thus it is likely he was seriously injured before the storm climbing or succumbed after the storm began due to exposure.

Occasionally mountain enthusiasts have lost their lives in the Sierra Nevada in the past and such will always be the case as there are many dangers. Many activities have little dangers with the most dangerous elements likely driving on mountain roads. Some activities like trail backpacking have only minor dangers that are rarely so serious that they take lives. Others like difficult peak bagging are very dangerous.

Quentinc's solo offtrail backpacking and exploration activities have some dangerous elements much like my and a good number of others on this board. And obviously more so as that is way he plays the game. It is game we participants are all aware of and given the freedom we enjoy in our society, are thankfully allowed to make our own decisions on whether or not to participate and take risks involved.

At any time an unexpected loose boulder in talus, or invisible slippery spot on a log crossing over a large deep fast stream, or falling down into labyrinths between large talus, or a single ice hard spot during a traverse across steep firm snow, or an unexpected pack weight shift while making a climbing move on an exposed face of steeps, or electrocution by lightning, are possible despite however careful one might be.

Let us continue to hope for a good outcome while understanding what seems to be likely and expecially thank SAR teams for their considerable personal efforts.
Last edited by SSSdave on Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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