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Re: Lost hiker on Whitney

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Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 02:13PM
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 02:26PM
Was he trying to dayhike the peak?
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 03:07PM
My understanding is that the vast majority do dayhike.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 05:57PM
He was doing a dayhike and was supposed to come out on Sunday afternoon/eve. I hope that the SAR team is bundled up!

b



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2009 06:57PM by Bee.
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 06:02PM
They do stick their necks out even though they are a team, well equipped, and experienced in these conditions. I think the really hard part for them is when there is a bad result.



Old Dude
Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 07:06PM
Kudos to Doug Sr. Although it is not his responsibility, he does keep track of peeps on the trail.
Without his input, at this moment, Wade could have been un-missed & unknown.
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 07:15PM
Richard P. was the one who alerted Doug/everyone; he saw Wade on his return trip and was bothered by how late/far he was from finishing.

b
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 07:19PM
Quote
Bee
Richard P. was the one who alerted Doug/everyone; he saw Wade on his return trip and was bothered by how late/far he was from finishing.

Any chance he came down really late and was not seen leaving?
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 07:55PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Bee
Richard P. was the one who alerted Doug/everyone; he saw Wade on his return trip and was bothered by how late/far he was from finishing.

Any chance he came down really late and was not seen leaving?



His car is in the parking lot.

Check the Whitney Board for running updates. Here is the link to the thread again:
http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=69894&page=0&fpart=1

I have not really seen any concrete input on how experienced this fellow may be.
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 08:12PM
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
eeek
Quote
Bee
Richard P. was the one who alerted Doug/everyone; he saw Wade on his return trip and was bothered by how late/far he was from finishing.

Any chance he came down really late and was not seen leaving?



His car is in the parking lot.

Check the Whitney Board for running updates. Here is the link to the thread again:
http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=69894&page=0&fpart=1

I have not really seen any concrete input on how experienced this fellow may be.

I'd missed the one post about his car still being there. This isn't looking very good. Sigh.
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 08:43PM
I would think that a 70ish person heading up Whitney alone would have a lot of experience under his belt. I can't see a tyro even thinking about doing it under Sundays conditions.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 08:46PM
Quote
mrcondron
I would think that a 70ish person heading up Whitney alone would have a lot of experience under his belt.

That's likely. But he could still fall or have a health problem appear.

Quote

I can't see a tyro even thinking about doing it under Sundays conditions.

You should know better than that.
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 08:51PM
I like to believe that Whitney would cause people to take pause before doing something really over their head.

I don't know the route but I wonder if there is anyplace you could fall and not be seen. From all the pictures I've seen everything in the more exposed areas are free of vegetation. It's possible he got to the top and couldn't find the trailhead to get back down. He may have wondered off in the dark.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 08:57PM
Quote
mrcondron
I like to believe that Whitney would cause people to take pause before doing something really over their head.

That'd be nice.

Quote

I don't know the route but I wonder if there is anyplace you could fall and not be seen. From all the pictures I've seen everything in the more exposed areas are free of vegetation.

There are a lot of places to fall on Whitney that would leave one a long way from the trail.

Quote

It's possible he got to the top and couldn't find the trailhead to get back down. He may have wondered off in the dark.

He was certainly running very late when Richard passed him. There's some speculation he may have made a wrong turn at the trail junction and headed west.
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 09:02PM
It is easy to get lulled into complacency early on while hiking the MWMT. The trail is as nice as any of the best "groomed" trails in our beloved Yosemite, and the grade is really really user friendly. I started to get quite cocky after a few miles, but I was reminded quite tersely that the "worst/best" was yet to come, later, when I would have been tired, cold, AND dealing with the altitude. It's hard to wrap yourself around the the daunting task of the last 1/4 of the trial -- no matter how many brochures you have read. (my use of the MT was only up to Mirror Lake, so I am STILL pretty clueless, and based on my miserable attempt and proper food intake, there is still lots to learn)

B
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 09:18PM
I read Richard's post on the Whitney board and he says he passed the guy about 2/3 the way up the switchbacks and based on the guys progress Richard figured Wade would be at the Trail Crest Junction in about two hours. The trail dips down a bit there and if he missed the right turn to get on the trail that goes to the summit he could have gone to Guitar Lake. God only knows what level of sensibility he had at the point he reached the top of the switchbacks.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 09:29PM
Your assessment is exactly what Doug., Sr. said. Apparantly, it is a common mistake to miss the turn-off and continue ont he JMT to the west. Until I actually looked at a map, I was sort of snarky about "Hullo -- THIS is East and THAT is West -- one wil take you home and the other will take you to Yosemite!) It's all a different game when you are cold, tired, hungry and harrassed by altitude.

B
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 10:49PM
Here is a copy of RichardP's last post. He is one of the last people to see Wade on Sunday.

"Here's what I saw on Sunday:

~8:00am on the way up to Trailside Meadow, I passed Wade, saying hello as I passed by.

~2:00pm on the way down the Switchbacks, I was stopped to put on my crampons about 1/3 of the way down. Mike was downhill of me and was talking to Wade. As he passed by me, I asked him if he was planning on climbing down the same day.

He was wearing micro-spikes which were good enough for the trail conditions. He was using an ice axe. His pack looked big enough to contain additional gear.

My concern was that he had only covered a couple of miles in nearly six hours. At the pace he was walking by me, I figured he would be at Trail Crest in 1 - 2 hours. There was no way he was going to make the summit by dark.

Again, the trail conditions (a mix of firm-packed snow and dry trail) were not that bad above Trail Camp, so a slip here would have required a major mistake to be made.

The trail from Trail Camp down to Mirror Lake was the most dangerous part of the trail. It took careful foot placement to avoid the hundreds of postholes that went all the way to the stream on the shortcut to Trailside Meadow. Below Trailside Meadow, there was a lot of ice down to Mirror Lake.

Below that, the trail was mostly dry, except for shadowed areas."



Old Dude
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 11:41PM
Quote
Bee
Hullo -- THIS is East and THAT is West

It's very easy to get turned around and not figure that out.
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 11:20PM
A little later, 3:45pm, some other guys were decending the Mt and it reads like they saw Wade just above Trail Crest. I am not sure if this was before he reached the JMT junction, though. I am also wondering how obscurred the west side of the JMT would be to follow.
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 27, 2009 11:39PM
Billy-e-g hiked in from the JMT up from Guitar Lake. He can comment on the clarity of the trail. It's got to be very obvious as trod on as it is. Missing the junction has little to with the clarity of the trail though. It's very easy to walk right past them.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 28, 2009 03:25PM
The search for a man missing in the Whitney region continues, at last report.

http://news.sierrawave.net/eastern-sierra-news/2652-whitney-search-continues
avatar Re: Lost hiker on Whitney
October 28, 2009 08:50PM
Still no results on the SAR operations.



Old Dude
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