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Re: Yosemite National Park Searches for Missing Person Near Vogelsang

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Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 03, 2011 06:53AM
From the park's Facebook page:

Were you in the Vogelsang area or on the High Sierra Loop between Aug. 26 and Sep. 3? If so, please call our search and rescue office at 209/372-0522.

Gene Hall (pictured) was last seen in the Vogelsang area on Aug. 30. He may have climbed Vogelsang Peak but was headed toward Merced Lake.

Age: 69
Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 180 lbs.
Hair: Short, gray
Complexion: Fair
He is wearing a tan or olive shirt, tan synthetic pants, and a dark-green or black rain jacket. He has a dark REI backpack, purple sleeping bag, 3/4-length Thermarest pad, a Fly Creek 2 tent, and silver or black hiking poles.

avatar Yosemite National Park Searches for Missing Person Near Vogelsang
September 03, 2011 12:10PM
Yosemite National Park Searches for Missing Person Near Vogelsang
Date: September 3, 2011

Yosemite National Park is searching for 69 year old Gene R. Hall, from Olympia, Washington. Hall was last seen in the Vogelsang area where he was hiking alone. He has been missing since Thursday, September 1, when he failed to show up at his vehicle.

Hall began a backpacking trip at the Dog Lake parking area in Tuolumne Meadows on Monday, August 29th. He was last seen at the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp on August 30th by a group of hikers. When Hall did not return to his vehicle on September 1, he was reported missing.

Yosemite National Park is asking anyone in the area of Vogelsang between August 30 th and September 2 nd to please call the Yosemite Emergency Communication Center at 209-379-1992. Hall is 69 years old, 5' 10" tall, 180 lbs., and has short gray hair. He was last seen wearing a tan or olive shirt, tan synthetic pants, and a dark green or black rain jacket. He also had a dark REI backpack, a purple sleeping bag, a ¾ length thermarest, and black or silver hiking poles with him.

Helicopters from Yosemite National Park and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have been assisting approximately 65 ground personnel in the search for Hall. Search and Rescue teams include personnel from Yosemite National Park Search and Rescue, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Sierra Madre County Search and Rescue, Fresno County Search and Rescue, and Tuolumne County Search and Rescue.
Re: Yosemite National Park Searches for Missing Person Near Vogelsang
September 03, 2011 02:03PM
I saw Gene on top of Mt Dana on Sunday August 28th. What a great guy. He was having a great time. He left the summit about 10 minutes before me and my daughter did and we did not catch him until the last mile back to the trailhead. Gene is a very strong hiker so I'm hoping he just decided to spend a couple extra days out. He did mention he was cheating a little by not carrying a lot of food and eating his meals at Vogelsang when we said goodbye at the Tioga pass trailhead. Here is a picture I took of him and Moose Tracks (Laura) on top of Dana Sunday. I borrowed this picture from Laura's website. He may be wearing these same clothes.

I hope they find him safe and sound!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics621/6094969120/in/photostream/
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Searches for Missing Person Near Vogelsang
September 04, 2011 04:25PM
That is a GREAT picture of Gene. I worked with him for many years and backpacked with him in Yosemite. I have sent the picture to one of our ex-worker friends who will send it to all who knew him. he was indeed a great guy.

He went out the way i would like to go. R.I.P.

Tony Ferrari



"Ah but I was so much older then , I'm younger than that now"
Tony ferrari
www.tferrari.org
Re: Yosemite National Park Searches for Missing Person Near Vogelsang
September 13, 2011 04:06PM
Terry, I wondered if you told him to smile and took a second photo. Thanks to you and Moosetracks for relating this great story about my brother, who went out doing what he loved.
Re: Yosemite National Park Searches for Missing Person Near Vogelsang
September 14, 2011 11:01PM
Hello Ron

I didn't have to tell Gene to smile. It was a great day and hard not to smile. Standard practice at a place like that is to take 2 pictures just in case. Moose Tracks wanted a picture of her and Gene to show her Dad. I got a picture of me and Moose Tracks too which is not something I usually do on summits. We all just had a great chat on a great day and we all had lots to smile about.

Another funny thing I remember from that day is Gene pointing out to my daughter and I what he thought was the easiest way down from the summit. We decided to try it and it ended up leading to a snow field that we had to scramble around. When we finally caught up to Gene he felt the need to apologize for misdirecting us but we all just laughed because there really is no right way down. We usually like to hike alone but easily fell into step with your brother for the enjoyable hike back to the trailhead.
Re: Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 04, 2011 05:48AM
You can stop looking now.

I just got back from the mutual aid SAR. Cannot comment until they release details officially.

Vogelsang is beautiful, but everything's really, really dry.

Will post one or two scenic shots in another thread.
Re: Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 04, 2011 11:32AM
Re: Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 04, 2011 12:24PM
I can't imagine a better place to die. Maybe he knew he was going to die.
avatar Re: Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 04, 2011 02:06PM
If I had 5 days to live I would probably scale Dana and hike down to Merced Lake too. RIP Mr. Hall; I can only hope my last days will be as amazing.
Re: Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 04, 2011 05:21PM
I'm sorry to hear that. He looks joyful and healthy in the picture that apeman45 linked to. He probably went to sleep happy thinking about where he was going to hike the next day not knowing he would never wake up. We take comfort in stories about preventable deaths like people going over waterfalls because they weren't using common sense. There's a sense of control there. However, going to sleep in a tent near Fletcher Lake and dying is different. He was a passenger in a vehicle called life, which we happen to be riding in as well. It could have happened to anyone. Stuff happens. You just never know when. That's the harsh reality. Better live life like it's your last day because you never know. It looks like that's exactly what he was doing. R.I.P.
Re: Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 04, 2011 06:50PM
I took that picture with the lady in orange (Laura's) camera because she wanted a picture of her and Gene to show her dad who also worked with Gene for many years. I knew Laura for her famous mountaineering exploits that she posts online and had never met her but knew her immediately as we topped out on Dana. She had been talking to Gene at length and turned out that Gene and her dad knew each other quite well from working together. I was sort of eavesdropping on their conversation but enjoyed Gene telling his "small world" story. He talked about an area he and his wife were fond of, the Khumbu region in Nepal. While vacationing there they met some Americans and got to talking and found out they were from the same area of California. Gene's wife was quite the prolific midwife back in the day and turns out she had delivered all 4 of this couples kids. I hope I'm not screwing up this story too much but Gene told it with enthusiasm and I found him very interesting despite my usual penchant for solitude on a summit. My daughter and I were there to visit my Dad who's final resting place is Mt Dana's summit. It is a special place. I spent 30 minutes talking to Gene and Laura on what can only be described as a perfect Sierra day. The day before had threatened rain all day and we had postponed our hike for a day. This day was cloudless.

Tony Ferrari - He asked Laura if you knew him since apparently her Dad and you worked together. You didn't happen to have kids at Awalt High School did you? I don't think Laura would mind if I gave out her name, she's famous in the southern Sierra. Her last name is Molnar which I'm not sure is her maiden name.

I enjoyed a stroll back to our cars with Gene. The wildflowers on the flanks of Dana were spectacular He talked about how fortunate he was. He was very excited about the next leg of his journey to Vogelsang. This was a man in his element who was in a place that he loved dearly. He was very happy and I was in admiration of his health and hiking ability at his age. We got to blabbing about this and that at the cars at the trailhead and he pointed out my daughter waiting patiently while 2 old guys go on and on. I think he couldn't wait to hit the trail.

Happy trails Gene!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2011 11:16PM by apeman45.
avatar Re: Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 05, 2011 11:48AM
If you are thinking of Gabe Molnar I do indeed know him and see him occasionally hiking at Rancho San Antonio in Los Altos. My backpacking days are over because of back and shoulder operations but I still hike about 25 miles a week locally as well as occasional day hikes in the Eastern Sierra.

Tony F
avatar Re: Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 05, 2011 09:29PM
I contacted Laura on Facebook and she told me her dad (Gabe) had called her to tell her about Gene. The picture of her and Gene is now her Facebook profile picture.



"Ah but I was so much older then , I'm younger than that now"
Tony ferrari
www.tferrari.org




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2011 11:40AM by tonyferrari.
Re: Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 04, 2011 07:36PM
http://www.fshs58.com/hall.html

I met Gene for the first and only time at May Lake on Thusrday, Aug 25. I immediately admired him and was inspired to retire and be like Gene. He's one of those people you just immediately respect and like. Very humble and unassuming. His pack was small and he carried no more than absolutely necessary. Gene was having some trouble with his tent (poles) and the last time I saw him he was on his way to the mountaineering store to see about picking up a Big Agnes. He was unsure about the expenditure and I recall encouraging him saying, "Gene, you need it, you want it, you deserve it. Go get it." I wonder if he did?

We'll follow in your footsteps, Gene. Thank you for blazing the trail.

TreyBien
avatar Re: Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 05, 2011 09:24PM
I have sent your post to a number of people who knew Gene. Your post will mean a lot to them but will not surprise them. But knowing Gene, all can understand why he made such a great impression on those he met.

Tony Ferrari
Re: Man missing on high Sierra loop
September 07, 2011 10:28PM
It's a bit long, because I combined trip reports from Mt. Dana, where I met Gene, and being in the Desolation Wilderness last weekend.

http://moosetracksca.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/grab-life-and-run-with-it-because-you-never-know/

Apeman, a pleasure to meet you and your daughter as well.

RIP, Gene. We had matching smiles that day.

-Laura
avatar Yosemite National Park Concludes Search for Missing Person
September 08, 2011 06:33AM
Yosemite National Park Concludes Search for Missing Person
Date: September 4, 2011

Yosemite National Park's search for 69 year old Gene R. Hall concluded at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, September 3, when Hall was found dead in his tent. The cause of death has not yet been determined, but appears to be from natural causes. Searchers located the tent off-trail near Fletcher Lake, which is in the vicinity of Vogelsang. Hall had been hiking alone in the Vogelsang area and had been missing since Thursday, September 1, when he failed to show up for a previously scheduled engagement.

The park would like to thank the Search and Rescue teams that assisted Yosemite Search and Rescue in this effort, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Sierra Madre County, Fresno County, Tuolumne County, and Marin County.
avatar Gene Hall's last resting place
September 10, 2011 05:10PM
Gene hall had an aortic valve problem that was not thought to be too serious. It turned into an arrhythmia that killed him.

He will be cremated and his ashes taken to Nepal to his and his wife's favorite sherpa who will scatter his ashes on a 20,000 ft peak near Everest (Island Peak) that he climbed at the age of 66.

His wife's first climb with him was Mt Dana and it was his last.



"Ah but I was so much older then , I'm younger than that now"
Tony ferrari
www.tferrari.org




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2011 03:51PM by tonyferrari.
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