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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 sparky » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:02 pm

I went to

scroll down a bit, click to animate whatever day you want or the past two weeks. It will only show <1". Again this info may not be correct, but even 5am monday conflicts with 12" on the evening of the 20th.

going over that link....the numbers seems a little odd? not more than an inch?
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby QS 15 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:04 pm

Hi all,
I'm completely new to this site but I've been following this story closely, hoping that Mr. Conn will be found.. I was further south at Matlock Lakes the same weekend and it began snowing intermittently after 1am on Monday, Oct 22nd. By 8am, snowfall was steady and there was ~4" of fresh snow on the ground with trails obscured.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby frediver » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:20 am

After looking at he maps again I agree that The Red Lake area looks suspect and has a exit trail. However both branches at the head of Goodale creek look equally suspect, I think it depends on which way he turned when he got over the pass.
I know maps are different than on the ground perspective but the Goodale drainage's look enticing using Bing Maps Bird view. This route I think would connect better with the Taboose parking area.
Finally the Search Map does not show that either areas have really been checked.
I doubt he would backtrack on the normal Taboose Trail, that direction would be an additional 5-6mi to the junction and then 9mi. out unless he thought he had time to beat the weather, I don't think he did. IF the weather turned to crap and he was on a reg. trail I also don't think he would stray far due to conditions. Bad weather might put him on a trail for safety reasons IF a trail was near to hand.
How far do you think Larry would try to go with only 2 days to play with, a 9 mi. slog in/out using Taboose pass really cuts into his time.
Larry likely has all his kit with him, none has been found nor any camp. The odds are he was not trying to top a Mountain when he went missing, if he had a base camp would likely have been found.
West and well as the normal trails in that direction have been covered, East has not.
Larry was forced into taking a shortcut due to weather OR he originally planned to make a loop due to time and distance constraints. IF he originally considered a loop then Red Lake gets the nod, if not then
his direction at the pass/junction determined the route/loop for him.

Damn !
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby Jimr » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:23 am

Eric Wrote:
"Words cannot express."

But tears can. I can't help but shed them.
What?!
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:27 am

There have been miracle rescues before.

I'll keep my hopes up til serious snow falls...

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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby paul » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:21 am

sparky wrote:
scroll down a bit, click to animate whatever day you want or the past two weeks. It will only show <1". Again this info may not be correct, but even 5am monday conflicts with 12" on the evening of the 20th.

going over that link....the numbers seems a little odd? not more than an inch?


The closest sensor to Taboose is the Bishop Pass sensor. Looking at the records from that. it looks to me like there was some snowfall on the 20th, starting around noon. Not a lot, but it would indicate that the weather was closing in at least, so Larry would have known that it was time to get out. But it is hard to be certain about amounts of snow this small in a storm with wind, because you can get both drifting snow piling onto the pillow of the snow sensor (making it look like more snow has fallen) and snow being blown off the pillow (making it look like less has fallen).

This will take you to the Bishop pass sensor record for the 20th - and you can go forward or backward from there, keeping in mind that this reads in inches of water content, and actual snow depth would be 6-12 times these numbers:

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/quer ... an=12hours

Regarding the ground search of the entire Taboose trail, my understanding is that that was the first step, undertaken by Inyo County SAR under the Sherriff's department, since his car was found at the trailhead in Inyo County.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby SSSdave » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:31 am

sparky wrote:I went to

scroll down a bit, click to animate whatever day you want or the past two weeks. It will only show <1". Again this info may not be correct, but even 5am monday conflicts with 12" on the evening of the 20th.

going over that link....the numbers seems a little odd? not more than an inch?


===================================
See where you got that info, very crude using a large scale map that must use CDEC remote sensors then extrapolated over areas. There was no 12 inches on the evening of the 20th but rather the 21st. Wherever that came from is a mistake likely meant the next day. The storm had just reached the San Jose area where I live at sunset on the 20th so was still hours from the Sierra.

SNOW WC means "snow water content". Given the temperature and snow level one inch may be about 10 to 12 inches of snow. Ignore the hour to hour small differences as that is the nature of the sensor. It looks like some brief intermittent snow showers occured as early as 3am and then at 6am sunrise was probably constant. Might be a half hour delay 10 miles down the crest. That also supports what QS15 posted. 2>3 inches of snow that had fallen 5am to 8am would not have prevented a healthy person in hiking boots determined to escape at dawn 3 or 4 miles from the pass unless their clothing was inadequate or visibility due to cloud level shrouded the pass densely. Of course the majority of that zone is a further distance. But then if he had been too far away, the fact there has been no signs, no tracks, is a strong argument for an injury or sucumbing to exposure.

Date / Time SNOW WC SNOW DP TEMP BAT VOL
(PDT) INCHES INCHES DEG F VOLTS
10/22/2012 00:00 0.05 0 28 12.6
10/22/2012 01:00 0.04 0 27 12.6
10/22/2012 02:00 0.04 -2 25 12.6
10/22/2012 03:00 0.07 -8 N 24 12.5
10/22/2012 04:00 0.10 -7 N 24 12.5
10/22/2012 05:00 0.12 -10 N 21 12.5
10/22/2012 06:00 0.15 -10 N 22 12.5
10/22/2012 07:00 0.21 -6 N 23 12.5
10/22/2012 08:00 0.35 70 21 12.4
10/22/2012 09:00 0.43 3 21 12.5
10/22/2012 10:00 0.48 3 23 12.6
10/22/2012 11:00 0.55 -4 N 24 12.9
10/22/2012 12:00 0.60 3 25 13.0
10/22/2012 13:00 0.70 4 25 13.3
10/22/2012 14:00 0.83 3 26 13.2
10/22/2012 15:00 0.92 2 25 13.3
10/22/2012 16:00 1.03 3 24 13.2
10/22/2012 17:00 0.92 85 21 13.2
10/22/2012 18:00 0.94 2 21
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby bkpkr » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:29 am

Based on Larry’s posts some pointed out he would rather avoid using trails except for getting to his target destination quickly and easily (which would most likely include emergency case). He liked to explore surroundings and challenge himself, be different than ordinary hiker/backpacker. So basically he can be anywhere. But because even his tent never been found, I would point out again that he might have got in trouble while walking with a full backpack.

Most people here suggest he set a base camp and explored the area going light and coming back to his camp every of the two/three remaining days. However, on the first day he was seen walking slowly (not sure about the time, days are short now though), so if he made it over Taboose Pass that day his base camp would be somewhere close to the pass, on the other side of it by a creek or a lake (water source). However, it is possible that he spent the first night before the pass and set his base camp on the second day deeper in the mountains (somewhere maverick with his team is replicating and re-searching).

There is another possibility though that he has never separated with his backpack in which case would be more sense for him to do a loop. I don’t know this area, never been there, only around, so my theory may not be correct, but based on checking a map of this area and reading about various approaches to Split Mountain on both sides (which include class II, III and snow gullies) and if I were Larry I might be tempted to climb it up (not necessarily to summit) from one side and descend it to the other side, for example to Red Lake and then traverse back to Taboose trail. (I think someone already mentioned Red Lake.) According to the Taboose Search & Rescue Operations map (November 1, 2012) this area never been checked by Ground GPS and its east side scarcely by a helicopter. (I’m not criticizing anyone, just trying to figure out what and where might have happened.)
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:09 am

Mike M. wrote:Doyle wrote:
The fact that no trace, no fire, no snow-stamped messages, no shouts, no sightings, no trace can be found further suggest that whatever happened, happened away from his tent.

Or that whatever happened, happened with his pack on his back, including his tent.-Mike

I think the odds are much higher that his tent is set up somewhere, but we cannot discount the possibility his backpack is with him wherever he is.
Ages 50 to 55 is a very dangerous period for men. If there is a genetic disposition for heart trouble or stroke, that is when it is likely to show up. A brother-in-law had taken up hiking and was on a Mt. Diablo trail when he was struck down fatally suddenly: He was 52, and it was at that time when I heard about this "danger zone" for men from doctors. If Larry had such a problem, I think it was likely he would have been found by searchers/dogs if he had been en-route to a camp somewhere.
However, since there are interesting X-C routes in that area , it could be, pack and all, Larry was on one of those when something happened, which would explain why nothing was found in all the usual places.
But from his previous posts, it seems Larry liked to stealth camp and then bag peaks or explore X-C routes, which would make him hard to find even in fair weather conditions. I just think that is the more likely scenario. At least I hope so. If you find the tent, you are more likely to find the man.
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http://www.doylewdonehoo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby thegib » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:54 am

Just as a case in point of how hard it is to locate someone in the wilderness, you may remember an experienced backcountry user a couple years back who left an excellent itinerary; he was going to follow the ridge from bishop pass over to treasure col and descend. He signed the register of Gould, but not Trapezoid, and still it took a week to find him. In summer conditions. It's much harder than it might at first seem to find a missing person. May luck be on their side.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Postby oleander » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:16 pm

Like many on here, I am coming back here daily, hoping a miracle has happened.

I do not know Larry, but would offer this up about hiking style at end-of-season: Many of us are in great shape from the summer hiking season; are acclimatized by then to the very high altitudes; and are anxious to "see as much as possible" on that one last trip before winter closes in. Thus, we find ourselves hiking especially long distances, from dawn to dusk. At least, I often find myself caught up in this mentality during an end-of-season trip, attempting pretty ambitious miles to take in as many sights as possible.

After camping near Taboose Pass on his first night, might he have intended to do a "very long hike, see as much as possible" on Day 2 (with full pack); followed by a Day 3, looping back to Taboose Pass a slightly different way.

If he at all gets caught up in this way of thinking, my guess is that it could have taken him very far south or southwest (from Taboose Pass) on Day 2 - it seems there was more "new" stuff for him to see south or southwest than there was going northbound - with plans to loop back to Taboose Pass on Day 3. Very long hike on Day 2 could have easily taken him beyond the southern boundaries of the search zone.

This is not a new insight. Just adding to the voices saying this area (lakes well south or southwest of Taboose, including some south of the official search zone) is the first place I'd look.

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

Postby DP Hiker » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:41 pm

From what I know of Larry I think it is more likely that he did not set up a base camp but packed up everyday and kept going.
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