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Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:08 pm
by maverick
Fellow Members and Concerned Hikers,

Simply put I need boots on the ground, some folks have offered
equipment, and info which is highly appreciated. If could do it myself I would
but even with all my experience in the Sierra, I can only cover so much
ground, especially when having to look for clues which takes time.
More importantly large groups add an important safety element which is always
a priority.
Have included a quick outline purposing what would be done in the 5 days (4 nights).
First day night would be spent on the eastern side of Taboose Pass allowing for folks
to acclimate. Day two each team would head up to there assigned areas, set up
a basecamp and start searching. Day all of days three and four would be spent
searching, and some searching would be done on day five early morning before
meeting up at the Taboose Trail for the exit.

I understand the difficulties with work and priory commitments, my gallery show
opens this week with a big party that was slate for Saturday which has been
canceled due to my need to be involved with locating Larry, sometimes one needs
to put their priorities in-check. The world doesn't revolve around me, and I need
to practice compassion and concern towards my fellow human being.

In regards to the weather it is only a one day event, which started out as two days, and
is still only a 20%-30% chance, and doesn't seem to have much moisture to it, so there
will not be any foot of new snow. Starting Friday the weather warms up and stabilizes
into next week. If anything threatening shows up on the radar between now and Fri
or on the tail end the search will be cancelled, safety is a priority!

Brief Operations Plan Outline

3 teams each consisting of 4-5 people. The team leaders should
have experience in the area which they are assigned to.

Team 1 would comb the areas from Cardinal Creek to Lake 11598
east and west of the JMT.

Team 2 would spilt up and descend the Muro Blanco to Kid Creek
on each side of the river. Also comb the forested areas near the
Bench-Taboose trail junction area.

Team 3 would comb the area starting from the Taboose Pass trail
up to the Pinchot Pass area, including the lakes east of Marjorie.

Each team will be briefed on the areas to concentrate on that have the
the highest potential, based on intel gathered from his friends, and based
on his personal hiking habits.

Searchers would require some snow travel experience and have done
camping on snow before, though there will be some exposed ground
in some places. Warm clothing to deal with 40’s during the day and 20’s
at night, and possible 15-20 mph winds. Windbreakers, gloves, sun glasses
good layering system, and waterproof boots are needed.
Need a few folks to bring SPOT ad/or Sat Phones, and if anyone can get
some walkie talkies that would also be of great help.

Please PM me only if your can come join me in the search for Larry.
If numbers do not materialize we will have to just sit in front of the computer
waiting, and hoping for the best, and his family and friends may have to go
on without knowing.
Will not ask again, this will be my last plea for help in this regard.

Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:41 pm
by Flux
I am sorry that I cannot go or do anything to help other than offer conjecture.

All I can offer is that he may have gone over Pinchot and might have chosen the Woods Creek drainage to head out. Muro Blanco is the other way and I agree that he would head down and out. I believe with the amount of food he had, he would try to dash for the first trailhead he could if the snow up high was too much. If I was cold, wet, and running out of food I would go down to any trailhead regardless of which side it was on.

Sorry for taking up space here. My thoughts and good vibes go out to Larry and everyone involved. I'm sorry I can't be of more help.

Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:50 pm
by orbitor

Thank you for the commendable efforts of putting together a HST search party. I too deeply regret I am unable to participate.

Just wanted to ask if you plan on working with SEKI SAR or if you will notify them should the team come together and head up Taboose. It seems imperative that all rescue efforts be coordinated so that all groups make the most effective use of time and resources.

Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:09 pm
by BrianF
I really wish I could join the search. To all of you who do -Thank You! for your efforts. Please be safe. Take a look at the slide show on the Seki link (10/28 update) at the top of the HST header for an idea of conditions you will be working in. Experience in snow travel and snow camping is a must, as well as winter equipment.

Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:35 pm
I also regret not being able to help with the search. I'm dealing with 3 major deadline projects this week and next. I also echo BrianF's post about winter camping experience. Even if I could take the time off, I think my minimal winter experience would end up being a drag on the search and thus detrimental to its purpose.

Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:44 pm
Maverick,what day are you proposing this search start?

Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:34 am
by AlmostThere
FYI, I doubt you will get any information from SEKI other than what they post publicly. If you go out there, you are not "searching" in a way that you'll be able to coordinate with the official search teams - they not only won't do that, they CAN'T. You're not trained searchers. It's liability they will not be able to assume, including you in the search.

If you go out there you will officially be backpacking. You may not like that, you may not see why that is so, but it IS. Not going to change. Especially when most of the time these things are treated like a potential investigation and law enforcement officers withhold the sorts of info they would if it were a crime scene.

The teams currently on the ground are MRA certified. This means nothing to non-SAR persons, but to me, who is currently on a team in the process of being certified, it means that everything goes by the book, and everything goes according to procedure - nothing compromises safety, all personnel have the training, all personnel can perform the tasks given them without hesitation and all to the exact same standard. There's not going to be any coordination with last minute volunteers (friends of Larry) because you aren't trained, there's no time to train you, it takes months if not years to vet a SAR volunteer to that standard... The good news is, MRA teams are the gold standard. They have extremely proficient members who train hard and often.

It's certainly commendable that y'all are willing and ready to get boots on the ground, sacrifice your time and energy, etc. I doubt the teams will stop you going out there. They may be concerned that you are taking risks - you're going to be thinking more about finding Larry than worrying about your own safety, perhaps, as you've not been put through repeated trainings to get you to focus on the task of searching by the book - and potentially about to be a SAR subject yourselves.

Hopefully some of you will consider joining SAR locally and getting out there, as it's certainly a fulfilling (though time intensive) community service opportunity and right in line with your hobbies. Then you'll be able to jump when the callout comes for someone you know online.

To those who do go... slow down, don't let the adrenalin take your brain, and be safe above all. Take care of yourselves. As embarrassing as it can be, search teams do sometimes miss evidence or even the subject - being too in a hurry to cover ground gives you no attention span.

Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:59 am
by BrianF
If there is going to be a "civilian" search, one possiblility to consider, whcih is outside of the SEKI search map area is the Red Lake drainage and route to Split Mountain. If something happend to Larry on Split or if the weather came into play, he may have tried to bail out using the class 2-3 ridge from Split's North face route down to Red Lake. If there are a couple of people who don't have the time to get up Taboose for a few days, a recon up to Red lake and as far beyond as safe could be done in a weekend or strong hikers could do it as a day hike.

Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:26 am
by bkpkr
AlmostThere is right but not necessarily entirely. If you want any information you need to contact sheriff; sheriff is in charge of the whole operation. Obviously, they will try to talk you out of this initiative because for them you are more likely to become a victim than be any help. The fact is they cannot stop you and at this point “embarrassment” is the last factor anyone is concerned of. They may not give you any tools but will be vary glad if you notify them about any finding. Make sure you have some way of communication to stop the search if Larry is found by either party.

Be safe up there and good luck with the search to all of you (including SAR).

Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:37 am
by AlmostThere
No, I'm telling you the truth. You are correct that they will welcome any info you can contribute. But untrained folks are not welcome on search efforts for the stated reasons.

You won't get any orders not to go out there, but you may be asked to leave an area to keep any evidence uncontaminated.

I think you misunderstood what I meant re embarrassing SAR situations.

And no, the inyo sheriff is not the point of contact. The park service is.

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