Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

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maverick
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Post by maverick » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:11 pm

A storm is due in on Wed and Thur, it will have snow and low temps, this will most likely cover up any evidence, and suspend the search. :(

Inyo SAR is well capable of searching the area, they will get assistance from other counties, if needed, and joint training missions could be conducted at a later time, as they did in the Conn case, Sierra Madre SAR were the ones who found the Conn evidence 8 months later, they were also there when we were out looking for Larry.
Unfortunately, this type of case is the worst situation. There is pretty much no information (except for the car), like with Matt Greene and Larry Conn. It usually isn't SAR that finds them. :(
Incorrect, Mike left a letter in his car, writing that he was going to climb Mt. Irvine, and that if he had time, then also bag Mt. LeConte. From talking to Mikes friend, it is most likely that he did proceed with his climb, and most likely was unaware of the incoming storm.


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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Post by Eigenguy » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:22 pm

Incorrect, Mike left a letter in his car, writing that he was going to climb Mt. Irvine, and that if he had time, then also bag Mt. LeConte. From talking to Mikes friend, it is most likely that he did proceed with his climb, and most likely was unaware of the incoming storm.
That may be the case, but I can only base my statement on what has been made public, and I haven't seen anything about a note in the car.

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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Post by LAhiker » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:30 am

maverick wrote:A storm is due in on Wed and Thur, it will have snow and low temps, this will most likely cover up any evidence, and suspend the search. :(
I sure hope they find him, or evidence of him, before the storm hits!
Inyo SAR is well capable of searching the area, they will get assistance from other counties, if needed, and joint training missions could be conducted at a later time, as they did in the Conn case, Sierra Madre SAR were the ones who found the Conn evidence 8 months later, they were also there when we were out looking for Larry.
Thanks for your reply -- I'm glad Inyo SAR has the resources to be on top of things.
Mike left a letter in his car, writing that he was going to climb Mt. Irvine, and that if he had time, then also bag Mt. LeConte. From talking to Mikes friend, it is most likely that he did proceed with his climb, and most likely was unaware of the incoming storm.
If you get the chance, I had a few questions. Was the car at the Meysan Lake trailhead (or wherever Mike would have begun his climb) or somewhere else, such as where he might have been camping? I assume all of this has been figured out, but wanted to double-check that whatever happened did so on the trail rather than on the way to the trailhead. Also, do you happen to know whether the letter had a date (and even a time) on it -- did it appear have been written on the morning of 11/9, or perhaps earlier in the weekend? I was wondering whether it was in effect saying "this is what I plan to do Monday" or "this is what I'm about to do right now."

Assuming Mike did begin his planned hike to Mt. Irvine, is it possible to estimate (based on sunrise times, when he tended to start in the morning, his usual speed, and trail characteristics) roughly where he might have been when the storm hit that afternoon?

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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Post by maverick » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:07 am

Mikes dad e-mailed me last night, his helmet was found, no further info is known on where it was found, let's hope this leads to them finding Mike soon!
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Post by LAhiker » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:40 am

maverick wrote:Mikes dad e-mailed me last night, his helmet was found, no further info is known on where it was found, let's hope this leads to them finding Mike soon!
Glad there's been some progress -- hope they find him soon.

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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Post by Shawn » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:53 pm

My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Michael. May he Rest In Peace.

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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Post by maverick » Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:24 am

My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Michael. May he Rest In Peace.
Shawn, I have not heard from the family that Mike has been found yet, have you heard otherwise?
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Post by Shawn » Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:57 am

Sorry Mav, I should have posted more info.

Will Meyers has been updating Facebook. Here is his post from Saturday night, 11/21/15.

Dear Every Member of US 395 / Owens Valley,
The SAR crews have concluded their rescue mission. I have the overwhelmingly unbearable news to report that Michael did not make it out alive from the Meysan lake area.
We as a family are absolutely devastated. But we are also thankful that they did in fact find him, and knowing that we were able to recover him has begun our long process of closure.
Michael may have been an experienced hiker, but he was definitely unorthodox. He was always striving to go above and beyond, he always was. If he set a goal or was driven to do something, he would.
Mountain climbing gave him a rush from his physics work. In the end, we know he died doing what he loved, and according the SAR, painless too.
I would like to thank the members of US 395 / Owens Valley. I have no idea who any of you are, yet you treated and prayed for Michael like family, and the gratitude that must be expressed for that cannot be said in words.
We are shaken. We are tired. We have a long recovery ahead of us. We know Michael is in a better place, and we believe his spirit is still with us. I like to believe that he will watch over anyone visiting the area from here on out.
Love you Michael, you're here in spirit, and someday after a good long life, I will see you again.
Thank You, Everyone. God Bless.
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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Post by LAhiker » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:53 am

Shawn, thanks for posting this. That's a very gracious statement to the 395/Owens Valley FB group.

This is very sad. My condolences to Michael's family and friends.

Thanks to everyone who gathered info and to Maverick for publicizing this and helping the family. I'm sure they appreciated your caring and expertise. And thanks to SAR for their dedication and good work.

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Re: Missing 25-year-old hiker in Russell/Whitney area

Post by maverick » Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:07 pm

Thanks Shawn for posting that, was out of town and had limited web access. Sparky pm-ed me about whether there was any plans on going up, after talking to Mikes cousin I became convinced that Mike had gone ahead with the climb, and was planning to contact some folks today to put together a posse to search next weekend, this of course was dependant on whether SAR had suspended their search, and that the weather conditions allowed for a search.
Glad to read SAR found him, and that the family will be able to start with their grieving process, there is nothing worse than not having some kind of closure, which is why the Greene incident needs to be solved.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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