Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

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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SweetSierra
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Post by SweetSierra » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:04 am

I've been checking this site several times a day since the day SEKI posted their first news release. I agree with oleander that a long hike on Saturday would have taken Quentic far over Pinchot Pass, had he decided to explore that region. One of the first posts pointed out that the initial forecast for Monday was a slight chance of snow but that it changed to a winter storm warning just after he started his hike up Taboose. I feel that could be potentially significant, if he found himself suddenly caught in an unforseen snow storm. I still hope for a miracle.
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Post by limpingcrab » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:04 pm

SEKI has suspended their search

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Alternate (maverick's) search thread.

Post by Hobbes » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:04 pm

bkpkr wrote:There is still Inyo SAR team searching Split Mountain/Red Lake area.
I believe this is ultimately where they will find Larry. We shared the same kind of time pressure/family commitments, so 3-4 day quick solo loops are the usual approach. When I looked @ the map, in my mind, I could see a similar schedule:

D1 (Fri) - Jam out of LA before 5am, get a permit and hit the TH by 9am. Lack of desert heat would mean you could make the pass before dark.
D2 (Sat) - Head north x-c via Cardinal pass, then contour around Split to set up in the upper basin moraines.
D3 (Sun) - This would have been the summit day for Split, but with weather moving in, decide to head over Red Lake pass a day early to a get a jump on the incoming storm.
D4 (Mon) - After a night spent @ Red Lake, hike to car @ Taboose through the desert, then drive home.

Secor calls the north approach to Split the easiest 14ker after Whitney, and describes Red lake pass as class III. Larry hiked to the top of Whitney over 25 times, and handled gnarly class III sections getting to Russell, amongst other challenges.

I don't believe weather had anything to do with what occurred - it simply meant leaving a day early. I think it was the unknown, x-c route finding down some of the most extreme terrain in the Sierra that called the cards.

Here's a link to a "meetup" group ascent of Split via Red lake pass this past August. Anyone researching this route would probably have come across this account:

http://www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Peak-Bag ... /76082922/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Post by toejam » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:26 pm

The meetup group just missed the trailhead, which is well described in all the available guides. I doubt that would have been an issue for Larry, besides, he would have been coming down the trail in your scenario. In that case, I think the issue would have been the overgrown section just below the lakes.

Last summer I found the brushy section fairly straightforward going up (after bushwhacking the first mile because I too missed the trailhead), but struggled to stay on the trail coming down the next day. The cleared tunnel through the brush deviates from the historic tread and only has one or two strips of flagging tape for clues. There are several well-trodden wrong turns that would be easy to take if you weren't on top of your game. They generally lead down towards the creek bottom, where you could stay hidden for a long time.

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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Post by ERIC » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:51 am

I just had a phone conversation with a member of the official SAR effort. The individual contacted me asking for my help in passing along an update to this group on informal continuing activities of SAR. This information comes to you second hand due to various jurisdictional and emotional sensitivities surrounding the search for Larry.
  • Ad-hoc SAR activities continue in small groups of approximately half a dozen at any one given time. Some have posted seeing a few of these folks at various locations within the search area. The continued ground-only search is being carried out in order to focus on coverage gaps and/or areas which are perceived to be in need of additional coverage. SAR staff are also using this as a training opportunity. Ad-hoc search will continue as long as conditions allow.
  • There is a concern that non-SAR individuals could continue the independent search of areas which have already been thoroughly covered by SAR, or, in areas considered to be hazardous for small groups in winter-like conditions. Independent searchers are requested to use extreme caution, and to communicate either directly with SAR or through these forums the exact dates and locations of areas planned to be searched. Doing so will improve safety and reduce the chances of duplication of coverage.
  • All (yes, I was told all) summits, passes, ridge-lines and lakes in the near vicinities of Taboose Pass, Split and Striped Mountains have been thoroughly covered by SAR. Summit registers for both Split and Striped have been checked.
  • Independent searchers are encouraged to either carry GPS devices to record track logs, or to communicate with SAR on exact areas covered upon return from a search. Several threads on SPOT/PLB and free online route mapping services have been posted recently on these forums. Those threads are suggested reading for anyone going out on an independent search
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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Post by Snow Nymph » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:34 am

Thanks, Eric! I keep hoping for good news.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Post by maverick » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:39 pm

Search for Larry up Goodale Creek to the cirque under Striped Mountain was
unsuccessful. We checked the creek, ravines, ridge lines, and around the one
lake that was still only half frozen. There were no signs of any human activity
through this canyon, at least not for a very, very long time.
We saw some Sierra Madre SAR members driving up towards Taboose who
were the ones ascending Striped Mountain.
Even though our search was unsuccessful the alternative would have eaten
away at my soul for a very long time.
Would like to say thank you to Sparky, Shawn, and Canukyea for there help in
the search for Larry. Also thank you to the folks who helped in PM's, those
who did in their well wishes, and for the existence of HST.

Have spoken with Claus about writing these next few sentences in Quentinc's
memory.

We have lost a fellow member, a true Sierra mountain man, and a good friend.
Larry's soul will live on in these enchanted mountains as his body rests in the best
possible place a mountain man could want.
Those of us who have been drawn to the Sierra for years and decades, understand
her magnetic draw on our souls, the beck and call at the beginning of each and
every season, the rejuvenating experience one feels after each and every trip,
no matter how difficult. These are all qualities and experiences that we all here
share, which bonds us together with our fellow mountain persons, and to fellow
members like Larry.
May his soul rest in peace, and may all of us passing through this area take a moment
to remember our friend Lawrence Conn aka "Quentinc".

Goodbye my friend. :tear:
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: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Post by Cloudy » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:36 pm

Good for you Maverick. You did what you had to do. The mountains call, we answer but as always: "There but for the grace of God"... Hopefully he will be found at some point.

Alan

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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Post by The Other Tom » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:05 pm

Thank you, Maverick. Well said.

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Re: Overdue Hiker - Do You Have Any Info?

Post by schmalz » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:45 pm

Thanks for everything Mav.
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