Unofficial Search Discussion Thread

Use this forum to stay informed on missing persons alerts, active SAR's and unfortunate hiker accidents we can all hopefully learn from. Any information you may have on a missing person, including first hand weather related information or any other insight (however little) may prove to be critical information to Law Enforcement / SAR in locating the person in question.
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maverick
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Re: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress Alt Thr

Post by maverick » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:53 pm

Rereading the following thread should be one of the refreshers everyone should do before the season begins. viewtopic.php?f=34&t=6565#p45407


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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Re: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress Alt Thr

Post by Rockyroad » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:25 pm

Hobbes, how long do the batteries in the DeLorme last with the breadcrumbs on? Will probably get one but wondering if it's more power-hungry than a SPOT3 and if I'll need a solar charger for a week-long trip.

Mav, feel free to move this if you think it is off-topic.

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Re: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress Alt Thr

Post by WarrenFork » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:07 am

Steve_C wrote:With the time and expense put into such a search, SEKI and Inyo could outfit every group heading into the wilderness with a satellite communicator.

I would advocate that every lone hiker be required to carry and use one.
Not going to happen. From the Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness Stewardship Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, adopted by the NPS in 2015 after years of consultation and deliberation:

Some wilderness visitors may find that the use of hand-held and other electronic devices (such as personal locator beacons and satellite phones) reduces their ability to experience solitude and self-reliance. The Wilderness Act does not prohibit the uses of these personal electronic devices. The NPS, while not prohibiting these devices, encourages visitors to minimize the support of modern technology to take full advantage of the wilderness experience.

This is toned down somewhat from the language of the Draft EIS, which called for visitors to "go without" the support of modern technology. But furnishing/requiring these devices would clearly be at variance with the official policy of "minimizing" such support.

It's worth noting too that legislators in Oregon tried to pass a bill that required parties to carry an electronic signaling device when climbing above 10,000 feet in the state from November to March. It failed in the state senate due to opposition from SAR teams. They argued that it would "embolden" the inexperienced and unqualified. Fire up Google and search for "Yuppie 911." There's no shortage of emboldening as things stand.

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Re: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress Alt Thr

Post by Hobbes » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:10 am

Michael, the DeLorme provides multiple settings depending on your expected utilization (frequency x period). On my week long trip last year, I set the DL to "best battery" ie extended tracking. I seem to recall that the battery was still over 70% charged after 6 days.

There's a lot of technical information available on the actual mechanics of the device, including a forum where engineering types love to discuss certain nuances & intricacies that I'm sure you'd love to read:

http://forum.delorme.com/index.php?/top ... tery-life/

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Re: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress Alt Thr

Post by AlmostThere » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:58 am

Satellite phones wouldn't help the ones that go hypothermic without ever realizing it and disappear, nor would any other electronic device. My first search callout was for a 70-something veteran backpacker who was clearly disoriented at the point last seen -- hikers spoke to him at trail crest on Whitney and quoted him as saying he was going to a specific destination, but hiked off in the opposite direction. Of course they did not recognize that he was in trouble. Very limited contact and ignorance of the symptoms of hypothermia, and on top of it, the usual avoidance of responsibility for others outweighing concern -- "he'll figure it out and turn around" was probably the justification. He was found dead -- he'd died sitting on a rock, with some of his clothes removed and his fully loaded pack sitting next to him.

The real solution for such problems is to hike with people who know you, who will catch you when you're suffering the umbles. Good luck getting these old guys to do that -- they are doing what they want, and hiking with people ain't it. No electronic thingie for them. I got a good lecture at the top of Hell for Sure Pass once from a fellow hiking for 14 days with his wife, they had huge external frames and were going at the blistering pace of four miles a day. I'm standing there in a red flashy SAR shirt wearing a chest harness with a GPS in the pocket, and he's going on about not needing any fancy gadgets, thankyouverymuch.

Just not gonna happen. If you want to save the counties and the state money, leave your itinerary, reduce risk as much as you can, don't build fires in areas where there's a ban, and realize that there will always be incidents that no gadget gets you out of and that's why SAR exists. Those SAR teams are already saving you billions by being entirely volunteer -- they pay for their trainings, they buy their gear, they are often getting their own food and driving their own vehicles to trailheads, and what you're really paying for are the helicopters and the actual sheriff deputies.

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Re: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress Alt Thr

Post by oldranger » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:11 pm

AT

I r one of those old guys. Carry a 1st gen spot because my wife insists and If I can't find some one I feel comfortable with I'll go alone. Don't and won't use tracks. Just leave detailed itinerary and hit the ok button every night, if I remember. Probably would hit the 911 button if capable and felt life was still worth living but could see a situation where it is time to go. At my age there are conditions worse than death.
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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Re: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress Alt Thr

Post by Steve_C » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:41 pm

WarrenFork wrote:... From the Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness Stewardship Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, adopted by the NPS in 2015 after years of consultation and deliberation:

Some wilderness visitors may find that the use of hand-held and other electronic devices (such as personal locator beacons and satellite phones) reduces their ability to experience solitude and self-reliance. The Wilderness Act does not prohibit the uses of these personal electronic devices. The NPS, while not prohibiting these devices, encourages visitors to minimize the support of modern technology to take full advantage of the wilderness experience.

This is toned down somewhat from the language of the Draft EIS, which called for visitors to "go without" the support of modern technology. But furnishing/requiring these devices would clearly be at variance with the official policy of "minimizing" such support.
Interesting. I think I met the one Seki official who probably wrote those words. I attended a Seki presentation in Visalia a few years ago, and he spoke during part of the presentation. I picked up on his dislike of satellite devices from something he said to the group. I spoke with him afterwards, and he had a huge 'tude against the Spot devices. He was adamant that no one could have a true wilderness experience if they took a gps or Spot unit along.

I left wondering where he drew the line. If electronic devices were forbidden, then what other products of modern technology would he ban? Stoves? lightweight tents? hi-tech backpacks? Vibram soles? He sure had a negative attitude.

...back to Mr Woodie: I now see that he actually sent out a Spot OK signal--was actually carrying one. So much for using tracking mode. :(

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Re: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress Alt Thr

Post by rayfound » Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:08 pm

He was adamant that no one could have a true wilderness experience if they took a gps or Spot unit along.
Don't and won't use tracks. Just leave detailed itinerary and hit the ok button every night, if I remember.

I frankly, do not understand this mentality. I use a spot (though I understand the arguments for other units). I see it twice a day: Once when I begin tracking in the morning, once in the evening when I push the check-in/OK. That impacts my wilderness experience a lot less than taking pictures with a digital camera.

Not only, do I appreciate the ability to signal for a 911/SAR, I even if something terrible were to happen where I was unable to signal for help, I appreciate that the tracking can be of great use for family, friends, and SAR in determining where to mount Search and Rescue or Recovery - the SPOT isn't only for my benefit, it is for those around me.

In the case of our missing compatriot, using the tracking feature would have allowed a much smaller search radius. None of this is to replace an itinerary, but rather to supplement.
Last edited by rayfound on Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: INYO-SEKI SAR / Overdue Hiker Search in Progress Alt Thr

Post by Hobbes » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:53 pm

I find it puzzling that some engaged in mountain sports appear to ignore other dangerous hobbies/activities that fully embrace technology. For example, PLBs were originally developed for marine safety - there's a reason why DeLorme is from Yarmouth, Maine. Boaters, divers & fishermen don't consider PLBs to "diminish" their ocean going experience. On the contrary, they'd rather be rescued & alive:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOdBALx51pM#t=40

This guy drowned @ Mavericks months after this photo was taken:

Image

As a result, the development of inflatable vests quickly resulted in important safety advances that now enable this kind of surfing:

http://www.surfline.com/video/webisodes ... zar_142814

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Re: Unofficial Search Discussion Thread

Post by rlown » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:48 pm

11 days is a long time overdue. And very late in the season.

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