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Messages - maverick

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Eastern Sierra Forum / 7/24 Missing Hiker Alert PCT Hiker
« on: July 24, 2017, 04:10:24 PM »

Facebook PCT:

ALERT!! For the purpose of a "Hotline" to be released to the general public, through Facebook or any other public forum, contact can be made via the Investigative Services Branch (ISB) Tip Line at 888-653-0009. Anyone can call this number at any time and leave messages. On July 7th, Rika Morita aka Strawberry, a 32 yo NOBO PCTer from Japan was last heard from family and last seen on the trail by other hikers on July 8th. Yosemite SAR have been alerted and currently searching for her. Below is information from a post from one of friends who is flying out from Germany to join with other friends to search for her, gave her last whereabouts and what her NOBO plans were. "Gathering all information the situation is as follows: We have a “Search for Rika” team now consisting of Gehn Shibayama, Christopher Lynch and me. Rika’s father doesn’t speak English. So Gehn joined in our team and got in direct contact with him. He’s fluent in English and Japanese. They had some phone calls in between. From this phone calls we learned from his father that Rika’s plan was to go the following route: Bishop – Muir Trail Ranch (MTR) – Red’s Meadows Resort (RMR) – Toulumne Meadows (TM) - Half Dome – Yosemite Valley – Toulumne Meadows – South Lake Tahoe. She had planned to do this in 11 days, but according to her plan she was overdue already 5 days in Bishop. Anyway. Rika was last seen by Aidan Dahler, Rachel Hopke, Greg Strachey and Justin Myers on July 8th 4 miles behind Glen pass. After fording a creek Rika went on solo while Greg and Justin were reorganizing their backpacks. On leaving Rika had announced to ask for their support (as she’s only 5 feet tall) at the next critical fording situation. The situations came, but Rika wasn’t there. Jonathan Szakacs saw her last on July 7th between 08:00 and 10:00 am when both they ran out of Bishop back on the PCT “but [she] pushed away”. They haven’t seen her since, and now they are in Toulumne Meadows. Neither in MTR, nor in VVR or RMR. TM itself is the place where Rika should contact Ted Hall who has got two boxes for Rika at his house in NorCal. By now there hasn’t been any call. It provides a little modicum of reassurance that actually it is impossible to make any calls from TM (no signal, public phone is out as PO is closed). As her plan was to go from TM to Half Dome we are now trying to find out if she obtained a permit for it. But officials in Yosemite are very slow, we are waiting for hours now for them to answer our request. To find out where Rika resupplied, we gathered the following information: We wrote an email to MTR to see if there was any sign of Rika. Still waiting for an answer. We called VVR to see if there was any record of her regarding resupply or if anybody has seen her. The answers was no. We contacted Moderne Hostel and Davison St Guest House in Mammoth Lakes to see if she checked in or has reservation. The answers were no. We contacted Sonora Resupply and Kennedy Meadows Resort to see if she was there or has sent resupply. The answers were no. We contacted Yosemite's Wilderness Office to see if she had overnight (necessary to hike down to Yosemite Valley) and Half Dome permit. She never obtained overnight permit. They are still researching Half Dome permit. John Godell checked Mammoth Lake Motel 6, but the answer was no. Regarding Donna L-Rod Saufley’s great idea to check her credit card records her Father told us that he doesn’t know which card she uses. Putting all this together, we don’t have any idea where she is or where she has been after the morning of July 8th. Please keep on helping. Gehn, Chris and Ingo"

Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: 7/18 Missing Hiker Alert
« on: July 20, 2017, 05:38:04 PM »

Inyo Co. Sheriff's Dept:

At approximately 1:45pm Mrs. Solomon was located by CHP H-82, south-east of Baker Lake on a rocky bench between Baker Lake and Hidden Lake. She had positioned herself in area that was open and was waving her jacket as the helicopter approached. Due to the rocky location the helicopter could not land, so ground search members responded to her location and guided her to a location accessible by a vehicle. Mrs. Solomon and the team successfully made it to the vehicle location around 4:30pm.
We would like to thank China Lake Mountain Rescue Group, Inyo Search and Rescue, and CHP - Inland Division Air Operations.

Eastern Sierra Forum / 7/18 Missing Hiker Alert
« on: July 20, 2017, 11:32:51 AM »

Inyo Co. Sheriff's Dept:

On the evening of July 18th Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch was notified that Linda Solomon, a 61 year old woman from Irvine, CA could not be located by her hiking partners. The hiking party originally consisted of three members; the route was a two night trip from the Green Lake trailhead out of South Lake to the North Fork trail via Baker Creek. On the last day of the trip Mrs. Solomon started down the trail slightly earlier than her hiking companions; the starting point was Baker Lake. Mrs. Solomon and her hiking partners unintentionally took two separate routes from their camping spot resulting in the two hiking partners being on one side of Baker Creek and Mrs. Solomon on the other. The hiking partners spotted Mrs. Solomon on the opposite side of Baker Creek across a marshy area about a mile east of their previous night’s camping spot. Both parties continued east but were unable to reunite. The hiking partners searched for Mrs. Solomon throughout the day, and when they were unable to locate her they hiked out via North Fork and contacted Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.
A search and rescue mission was launched Wednesday morning. Two teams were sent in; one via Coyote Flats and the other through the Baker Lake trail via the Glacier Lodge trailhead and up North Fork. Aerial reconnaissance was provided by CHP H-82 out of Victorville. The Coyote Flat SAR team discovered a note around 2:00pm in an old abandoned cabin on the south end of Coyote Flat. The note stated, “Wed. noon. July 20. Linda Solomon was here.” A note was left in the same place by a SAR team member instructing Mrs. Solomon to stay put if she comes back to the cabin, and that search teams will be back the next day. An additional clue that was discovered was a camera lens that was identified as Mrs. Solomon’s; the lens was about ¾ of a mile from the cabin on a dirt road. Search teams concluded yesterday’s efforts around 7:30pm.
On Thursday July 20th teams from Inyo Search and Rescue and China Lake Mountain Rescue Group began a ground search in the vicinity of Coyote Flat near and around the cabin, and the Baker Creek drainage out of Big Pine. Aerial recon for today’s efforts is provided by CHP - Inland Division Air Operations.
Mrs. Solomon is 5 feet tall and 100 pounds. She has black shoulder length hair and brown eyes. Her clothing consists of a light blue long sleeve shirt, dark blue rain jacket, and blue/grey backpack. She is described as a cautious and experienced hiker. If anyone has seen Mrs. Solomon or has any information that can assist this search please contact Sheriff’s Dispatch at 760-878-0383.

Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: 6/29 Missing Hiker Alert (Whitney Trail)
« on: June 29, 2017, 06:54:18 PM »

Inyo Co Sheriff's Dept:

UPDATE: Missing hiker Marv Cope has been located alive and well near the Arctic Lake drainage area in Sequoia-Kings National Park. A big THANK YOU to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and CHP - Inland Division Air Operations!

Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: 5/22 Missing Person Alert
« on: May 23, 2017, 05:15:45 PM »

Inyo Co Sheriff's Dept:

At noon today Dongying “Cindy” Qiu was located deceased at the base of a frozen waterfall near Outpost Camp. It is believed that she fell approximately 60 feet through a snow chute at the top of the waterfall (located on the southwest side of Outpost Camp, about a quarter mile off trail).
“This is an incredibly tragic situation and based on the extreme snow conditions in the backcountry, this could have happened to anyone,” stated Inyo County Sheriff’s Corporal Nick Vaughn. “The entire search crew and the Sheriff’s Office extend their most sincere condolences to the Qiu family and friends during this very difficult time.”
This was the second day of searching for the missing hiker. Support for today’s search was provided by Sierra Madre SAR, San Bernardino SAR, China Lake Mountain Rescue Mountain Rescue Group, Inyo SAR and aerial support provided by Army National Guard and CHP H-80.

Eastern Sierra Forum / Update 5/23
« on: May 23, 2017, 11:35:33 AM »

Inyo Sheriff's Dept:
Inyo County Search and Rescue (SAR) is on its second day of searching for missing hiker Dongying “Cindy” Qiu, a 27 year old woman from San Marino, CA. Cindy was part of a three-person hiking group that set out to hike Mt. Whitney on Sunday May 21st at 2:00am. After reaching Trail Crest (~13,700’ elevation) at approximately 1:00pm, she decided to head back to the trailhead at Whitney Portal alone. The original report indicated that the other two members of the hiking group went on to ascend Mt. Whitney, but later interviews revealed that one member of the hiking group (a female) turned around earlier in the hike before reaching Trail Crest. The male hiking companion did go on to ascend Mt. Whitney by himself, and when he returned to Whitney Portal around midnight, he was unable to locate Cindy. Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch was notified at approximately 9:00am on Monday May 22 of the missing hiker.

Following a lead from other hikers who believed they saw Cindy (descending the trail alone on Sunday late afternoon), Inyo County Search and Rescue and CHP H-80 out of Apple Valley began a search of the area between Trail Camp and Outpost Camp yesterday. A backpack matching the description of Cindy’s was located near Outpost Camp late yesterday afternoon. This morning additional teams are actively searching the area. Support for today’s search is provided by Sierra Madre SAR, San Bernardino SAR, China Lake Mountain Rescue Mountain Rescue Group, Inyo SAR and aerial support is provided by Army National Guard and CHP H-80.

If anyone has any information that may assist in this search please contact Sheriff’s Dispatch as 760-878-0383.

Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: 5/8 Yosemite Missing Person Alert
« on: May 08, 2017, 12:00:12 PM »

Yosemite NP:

Alexander Joseph Sevier last seen in Yosemite Valley on May 3rd

Yosemite National Park Rangers continue to search for Alexander Joseph Sevier, who was last seen in Yosemite Valley on Wednesday morning, May 3rd. Sevier, an active member of the U.S Navy, traveled to Yosemite alone, and arrived in the park on Monday, May 1. He was staying at Housekeeping Camp and neighbors in the camp told Park Rangers that Sevier would go out for day hikes each day. He would hike alone each day, and return to Housekeeping Camp in the evening.

Park visitors that were hiking on trails last week that may have seen Mr. Sevier are asked to call (888) 653-0009 with any information. Other phone lines to call are (209) 372-0608 or (209) 372-0252.

Sevier is 24 years old, 5'6", and weighs 128 lbs. He has black hair, brown eyes, and my have been wearing Aeropostale, Abercrombie, or Hollister brand clothing. He works at the Navy Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Search efforts in the park include Rangers looking on and around popular hiking trails, "YODOGS"- trained dogs searching, and a helicopter from the California Highway Patrol (H-40) out of Fresno, California. Search efforts have concentrated on popular hiking trails that originate in Yosemite Valley such as the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail, and the Mist Trail. About 30 people are currently involved in the search.

The park will continue intensive search efforts throughout the day.

Eastern Sierra Forum / 5/8 Yosemite Missing Person Alert
« on: May 08, 2017, 11:42:50 AM »

Yosemite NP:

MISSING PERSON: Alexander Joseph Sevier

Alexander is 24 years old, 5 ft 6 in, 128 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes.

Alexander was last seen in Housekeeping Camp on or around May 1. Possibly wearing Aeropostale, Abercrombie, or Hollister brand clothing. Alexander may have taken day hikes out of Yosemite Valley.

If you were in the area of Yosemite Valley since May 1 and have any information about Alexander, please call the Yosemite Emergency Communications Center at 209/379-1992.

Eastern Sierra Forum / Update
« on: May 01, 2017, 04:01:03 PM »


SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. May 1, 2017 - After an extensive search by teams from multiple agencies, the remains of Tomas Martinez, 18, from Woodlake, California was recovered this afternoon. This is the second fatality in the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River this year.

As temperatures continue to rise, visitors may desire to visit the rivers of the parks. Park rangers strongly request people not go in or near the edge of the rivers as even the rock next to them are slick and steep. Places such as Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park and Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park are great to visit this time of year.

Incident Commander Dave Fox expressed, “Rivers in these parks this year are extremely dangerous. Visitors should not go in or near them. These places are cold, swift, and dangerous.”

The National Park Service was assisted in this incident by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, YODOGS, and Exeter Ambulance.

Eastern Sierra Forum / SEKI MIssing Hiker Alert 5/1
« on: May 01, 2017, 12:03:04 PM »


SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. May 1, 2017 - On Sunday afternoon, a report was received by a park ranger that a person had fallen into the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River behind the headquarters of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The missing person is Tomas Martinez, 18, from Woodlake, California who was recreating with family and friends.

This is the second incident in as many weeks on the same river. With temperatures heating up as summer approaches, the record setting Sierra Nevada snow pack is starting to melt and flow, making these rivers rough, cold, and dangerous. Park rangers strongly request people not go in or near the edge of rivers as the rocks next to them are slick and steep.

“Many rivers in California are going to get very high and very dangerous. The best thing you can do is not go near these rivers. Don’t swim. Don’t go in,” said Ned Kelleher, chief ranger, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

The National Park Service is being assisted in this incident by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, YODOGS, and Exeter Ambulance.

Eastern Sierra Forum / Body Found 11/28
« on: November 28, 2016, 04:47:04 PM »


Missing Hiker’s Body Found

SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. November 28, 2016 – During the search and rescue efforts for Vince Scalise, a 41-year-old from Phoenix, AZ, his body was found today by searchers. Mr. Scalise was found at the junction of Panther Creek and the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park.

The cause of death is under investigation in conjunction with the Tulare County Coroner. Our deepest condolences go out to the Scalise family, friends, and co-workers.

The area has experienced inclement weather during this timeframe, with higher elevations receiving snow. Overnight temperatures continue to be below freezing. Teams from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Yosemite National Park, and YODOGS (Yosemite Search and Rescue dog teams) were involved in the efforts. 

Anyone who may have come across Mr. Scalise or have any other information is encouraged to contact Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks at 559-565-3195 with their name, contact information. Please contact the park if you were in this area since Thursday, November 19, 2016, even if you do not believe you saw Mr. Scalise.

Eastern Sierra Forum / SEKI Update 10/28
« on: October 28, 2016, 04:49:57 PM »


Search for Missing Hiker Robert “Bob” Woodie Scaled Back

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Calif. -- After more than a week of searching for hiker Robert “Bob” Woodie, the mission has been put on hold due to a series of incoming winter storms forecasted for over the next week. All search teams were taken out of the field Wednesday afternoon in anticipation of the significant weather event, which is forecasted to bring two to three feet of snow at elevations above 8,000 feet and high winds, with gusts up to 75 mph.

“We’ve completed very thorough ground and aerial searches in very difficult terrain over the last nine days, but the storms would put our search teams at risk and decrease our ability to find clues,” explained Rich Browne, incident commander for the search. “When it clears, we’ll reassess, but it does look like weather and snow coverage will end our ability to continue active ground and aerial search operations.”

The suspension of an active field search moves the operation into what is called “limited continuous,” which may include air searches, backcountry patrols, and outreach to hikers heading into the area. The operation will be upgraded to an active search if any leads about or whereabouts of Mr. Woodie are discovered. Additionally, the Incident Management Team continues to evaluate data collected by field teams while investigators continue to follow up on leads.

The itinerary for Mr. Woodie, a 74-year-old resident of Manhattan Beach, CA, was a four-day backpacking and fishing trip between Thursday, October 13 and Sunday, October 16. An experienced hiker who knew the area, he parked his vehicle at the South Lake trailhead in Inyo National Forest and hiked over Bishop Pass into Kings Canyon National Park. An “OK” check-in message was sent from his satellite GPS device on Saturday evening from the Barrett Lakes area. A winter storm that night and next day brought very high winds, overnight temperatures to below freezing, and snow to some areas above 10,500 feet. When Mr. Woodie did not return from his trip, his family notified authorities.

The National Park Service continues to ask the public to contact officials at 559-565-3195 if they were in the search area between Thursday, October 13 and Thursday, October 20. The 26-square-mile search area within Kings Canyon National Park consists of Bishop Pass, Dusy Basin, Barrett Lakes, and the John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail between Muir Pass and Mather Pass. The area is a high sierra alpine environment, between approximately 8,000 and 12,000 feet elevation. The rugged terrain includes areas of forest, alpine lakes, and areas above tree line with talus slopes and rocky mountain passes.

Over 130 personnel have worked on this multi-agency operation within Kings Canyon National Park. They include Yosemite National Park (YOSAR, including YODOGS, and Helicopter 551), L.A. County Sheriff’s Department (with Sierra Madre Search and Rescue), and Fresno County Sheriff’s Department, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department, California Office of Emergency Services, China Lake Search and Rescue, National Weather Service’s Hanford field office, USGS, and U.S. Forest Service.

Eastern Sierra Forum / Missing Hiker 10/27
« on: October 27, 2016, 12:12:25 PM »

Here is a link to the newest map with searched areas (10/27).

Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: Missing Hiker 10/17
« on: October 26, 2016, 12:24:33 PM »

Eastern Sierra Forum / Update 10/25
« on: October 25, 2016, 01:06:49 PM »

Hi All. I appreciate everyone's weather & condition observations. From weather data and a few JMT hikers going through on the west side, it confirms conditions on Saturday (very high winds and, in the search area, some prcip though not major) and Sunday (serous prcip/snow and extreme winds) west of the crest. Mammoth Mountain anemometer (11,000') showed sustained gusts of over 100mph after 1PM (maxed at 116mph). Because of incoming weather, searchers came out Saturday night but teams will return if conditions allow today or tomorrow. Weather, though, is again going to limit both ground and air search later this week.

I'm unable to post the search maps right now but this has been an incredibly extensive search with very good ground coverage on both the east side and west side of Bishop Pass. Sunday we (NPS) went over each section looking for holes in our search pattern. Areas were identified for follow up. I'll try to get permission to post a coverage map (tracklogs of searchers). It gives a really good visual of what goes into a search. Most of the ground teams are volunteers from a number of California county search and rescue teams who spend countless hours in training in addition to being available to show up with incidents like this occur. Also involved are Yosemite SAR and their helicopter as well as a National Guard Chinook. Darned impressive effort & people involved!

Anyway, thanks to everyone for your continued observations and first-hand accounts. I'll update here as I can.

George Durkee
NPS Sequoia Kings SAR

Eastern Sierra Forum / SEKI NP Update 10/22
« on: October 23, 2016, 11:52:56 AM »


We are continuing the search and rescue for 74-year-old Robert "Bob" Woodie of Manhattan Beach, CA, in the wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park. Four dog teams from Yosemite Search and Rescue (YOSAR) are currently assisting our field teams.

Photos and b-roll of the dogs can be found here, along with some new photos from the field to give you a sense of some of the terrain the teams are searching:

Our priority messaging for the public at this time is to get hikers who were in the search area since Thursday, October 13 to call us at 559-565-3117. Even someone who did not see Mr. Woodie is a helpful clue for our investigation. That helps us understand where he may have not been at a certain time. The search area includes Bishop Pass, Dusy Basin, Barrett Lakes, and the John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail in LeConte Canyon.

Thank you for your help getting the word out!

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