4th Matthew Greene Search 9/4-9/8/19

A forum to initiate member meet-up. Looking for a hiking/climbing/fishing/skiing/etc. partner, or are you planning a trip where you wouldn't mind having some company? Last minute invites can be just as fun as a well-planned group trip (sometimes even better) so don't be shy! And be sure to post a trip report to the appropriate forum when you get back.
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Harlen
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Re: 4th Matthew Greene Search 9/4-9/8/19

Post by Harlen » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:43 pm

Well said Jim. Even as a new member of this search team I felt the same sense of easy connection to everyone in the group. Not too far beneath the surface of this experience was a shared feeling of angst over something that happened to Matthew Greene that could easily have happened to one of us. There was a quiet, thoughtful intensity as we covered ground while looking for a fellow climbers' bones. My hope is that even without the closure that Matthew's remains would have brought, his family will be happy that we are keeping their son's memory alive. I know that Jason will relay to them the fact that all of us respect Matthew for his courage and his passion... that we are drawn to him, rather than in any way disapproving of how he chose to climb. The more I find out about this man, the more highly I think of him; every one of his entries in the various climbing forums shows passion, intelligence and humility.
So we were honored to offer our help, and here's a view of the search effort we made for Matthew Greene: (sorry, don't know how to include images in a separate album.)

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From the base of the SHR "Nancy Pass," Bearzy and I began to bend our path into upper edges of the route to search for clues in talus fields and in potential bivy-rock sites.

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From the slope above Lake Cecile we got out the crampons and ice axe and searched the area at the upper edge of the glacier/snowfield to the north of South Notch. Dave Ayers, Jason, Peter, Lisa, Jim- I'm not sure who all?- searched the south side of the snowfield.

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The red line is the route of Bear's and my search, with a few closeups of snowfield gaps we looked into below.

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We crossed South Notch with some difficulty, and then hiked over to the top of the 3 scary gullies/cracks that lead into basin to the south. Then we returned to search in this lake, and the base of Michael Minaret.

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This shows the route I searched on Michael Minaret after tying Bear to a flat spot in the upper gully. On the same day, Henry, Scott and Clark made a complete search of the summit, and parts of the northern slopes of Michael, along with a score of other ridges and Minaret summits.

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The real critical work this day was performed by the climbers Henry, Scott and Clark, seen here descending the top of South Notch.* At the end of a long day, I was glad to have Henry's help lowering Bear with solid rope technique.
*actually, that's Paul in the middle, who soloed up to South Notch to join us. Clark on rappel, Paul and Henry on the glacier, and Scott is out of sight above, handling the belay.

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Scott and Clark at South Notch.

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Henry, Scott, Clark and Paul below South Notch.


The last days of searching included the route up the valley leading to the mines and the pass under Volcanic Ridge, and onto the summit of V. Ridge.
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Last edited by Harlen on Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:00 pm, edited 7 times in total.








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Harlen
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Re: 4th Matthew Greene Search 9/4-9/8/19

Post by Harlen » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:16 pm

Volcanic Ridge and valley area search:

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Lisa and Jim at the upper mining cabin.

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Matt, Lisa, Jim and Peter/Maverick at one of the lower cabins.

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Bearzy at our summit perch, we remained around the summit plateau for a couple hours searching and gazing around.

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Northern end of Minaret Ridge. I believe North Notch is the deep notch to the right, and Ritter Pass to the right of that. "Neglected Peak" still farther right. That's scary Iceberg Lake below. Jim expressed concern about crossing above it, and it turns out a friend of mine fell right into the lake around the same time we were there; so good call Jimr!

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I hope we will find time to make another search and recovery effort in the coming years. It's good work, and serves to keep the spirit of Matthew Green alive- as Maverick says: "he"s one of our mountain brothers." Ian.
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Last edited by Harlen on Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 4th Matthew Greene Search 9/4-9/8/19

Post by cgundersen » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:51 am

Kudos to all of you; you're an inspiration! In an era when so much is forgotten so quickly, your dedication to this effort (and Mav's leadership) stand in welcome contrast. Still, I felt the helplessness in Jim's plaintive post. That area is so gorgeous, but the vastness of the terrain where a single slip could be life-threatening must be daunting. Well, I'm sincerely hopeful that circumstances will enable me to join in the next iteration of this mission. Cameron

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Re: 4th Matthew Greene Search 9/4-9/8/19

Post by sekihiker » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:50 pm

As the token old guy on the 2019 search for Matthew Greene's remains, I was generally under orders to keep my searching close to our campsite on the shore of Minaret Lake. That gave me a chance to photograph nearby flowers which remained fresh in this high snow year.

We camped in a forest of mountain hemlock [Tsuga mertensiana] a first for me.
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Corn lilies [Veratrum californicum] were in full bloom almost all the way up to the passes.
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A beautiful patch of blushing monkeyflower [Erythranthe erubescens] was a hundred yards north of camp.
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Giant red Indian paintbrush [Castilleja miniata] was one of the four paintbrushes in the area.
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Mountain spiraea [Spiraea splendens] was found with spectacular backdrops.
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We enjoyed mountain coyote mint [Monardella odoratissima] aka mountain pennyroyal tea a couple of evenings.
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I enjoyed meeting and visiting with all of you.

Maverick - who skillfully coaxed me up the trail on the first day.

The climbers - Henry, Scott, Clark, Paul - your tales of the climbs were especially entertaining.

Ian and Bear - for our conversations and a lot of boiling water

Clark - for the vintage hat

JimR, Jason, Jeremy, and Dave - for your spirited converstation

Last and not least - Maverick, Lisa, and JimR - who listened to and cringed with me about my current and future medical problems on our way back to the trailhead - way above the call of duty

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Re: 4th Matthew Greene Search 9/4-9/8/19

Post by Jimr » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:56 pm

Bill, you are a pleasure to hang out with. We want a shot of your vintage hat. Clark showed it to Lisa, Jeremy and I on our way up to camp and it was a delight the way you wore it with such pride and appreciation.
“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

-John Adams

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Re: 4th Matthew Greene Search 9/4-9/8/19

Post by sekihiker » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:03 pm

Harlen wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:16 pm
I hope we will find time to make another search and recovery effort in the coming years. It's good work, and serves to keep the spirit of Matthew Green alive- as Maverick says: "he"s one of our climbing brothers." Ian.
Thanks for the photos and route descriptions, Ian.
I echo your sentiments.
Bill

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Re: 4th Matthew Greene Search 9/4-9/8/19

Post by sekihiker » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:07 pm

Dave_Ayers wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:50 pm
A few snapshots.
Thanks for the photos, Dave.
Bill

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Re: 4th Matthew Greene Search 9/4-9/8/19

Post by sekihiker » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:11 pm

cmnatwick16 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:51 am
Hi Maverick & Matthew Greene search group,

Thank you for a very memorable backpacking/climbing trip. Here's my photo album of the trip. I hope you enjoy them. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's posts and looking at the photos. let me know if you have any trouble opening my link to the photo album.
https://1drv.ms/a/s!AhDydjsGilmggpo_LsiFW2aqZbcYsA

-Clark
Clark -
Thanks for sharing the album - and for the hat
Bill

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Re: 4th Matthew Greene Search 9/4-9/8/19

Post by sekihiker » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:14 pm

srb wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:10 am
I've only rough drafts of the text for each trip report, but all the photos are up...
Wow, Scott. I'm amazed at how quickly you put all the photos together.
Hope all is going well on the job.
Bill

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Re: 4th Matthew Greene Search 9/4-9/8/19

Post by oleander » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:56 am

This was my fourth search.
I’m still sorting out my feelings about it.
Positives and negatives.
Will just be honest.

This was the first year I felt really discouraged.

Because of the high snow year, and also because all of the higher-probability areas Matthew may have gone have already been fairly thoroughly searched, those of us who are not climbers were searching lower-altitude, lower-probability areas this year. The likelihood of finding something seemed vanishingly remote.

On the other hand, 13 people showed up. Thirteen! We had never had more than 6. We desperately needed this infusion of new energy. Thank you everyone who showed up. You took your valuable time, PTO from work, etc. to do so. You also brought your can-do attitude and fresh ideas.

OTOH, things felt scattered this year. People went off and did their thing. I found myself missing the early starts, laser focus, discipline, and tight sense of teamwork we had on Searches #1, 2, and 3 with only 4-6 people.

OTOH, after 4 years of trying to attract climbers who could go up vertical Minarets and check the registers, we finally got climbers – really GOOD climbers – who went crazy not only checking the registers, but also investigating alternate routes, peering down fall lines, looking in high crevices. You guys were the heroes this year. We needed you.

OTOH, many of us who weren’t climbers felt we were grasping at straws.

OTOH, Jason (the journalist) joined us! Jason, you often looked a little bewildered but you fit right in. What you subtly caused us to do was to consciously think about why we care about Matthew. I think for me, I just see Matthew as one of us. This could have happened to any of us. We just like to look out for each other.

OTOH, I started to wonder what I’d think if I was dead and looking down from the sky upon a group of 13 people deliberately wandering the least-pleasant talus for a fourth summer, to find my bones. I wondered if I might like to shake those people and say: STOP. You have made your attempt. Now let go. Go wander some pretty valleys. Go on a real backpacking or climbing trip. Go have fun. I’d rather watch you have fun.

OTOH, it *was* fun. These searches have always been a little more meaningful for me than the (also lovely) HST meet-ups. Not only because you’re “hiking for a reason,” but also because you really get to know people better. You return night after night to the same camp, picking up conversations from where they left off the night before. It is always wonderful to see both old friends and new.

I’m out of OTOH’s because I’m out of negatives.

I got to try pennyroyal tea for the first time. My favorite aroma in the Sierra.

And there was Bear. Bear! I would go out again just for Bear.

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