View Full Version : update on missing hiker from PCT

Crazy Larry #1
06-26-2005, 18:03
11:58 am
Update on missing friend

Iíve been putting off writing this mostly because itís been hard to accept. As you know, early in May our friend went missing in the San Jacinto Mountains in California. Last Monday a member of his hiking group who has close ties with the search and rescue teams out there came to speak to Johnís ďwork familyĒ. She described the area where he was lost and the extent of the rescue efforts.

The terrain is quite rugged and even now there is still significant snow pack at that elevation; however the search and rescue teams are very familiar with the area. They know the places where people tend to lose the trail so those were searched first. They alerted all hikers on the trail both ways to look for John and posters are up all over the area. Hikers are very aware that it could be them missing next time and they look carefully as they hike. There were helicopter searches and teams with dogs. The sheriffís department has also been treating this as a missing person case, as is standard procedure. They have monitored his credit card and there has been no activity. From this and other information they have basically eliminated the possibility that John left the trail to hitchhike around the bad area.

On May 3rd John was following a couple of hikers into a section of the Pacific Crest Trail that still had significant snow pack. He had been literally following in their footsteps since they were breaking trail. At some point, these hikers told John they were leaving the trail. They intended to skip this section at this time because the trail was too hard to follow with the snow pack. They were using a compass and map, they were experienced with this section of the trail and they were equipped with ice picks, serious hiker crampons and poles. John had none of this equipment, no compass and wasnít very good with a map. Nevertheless, John apparently continued on. On May 4th a major winter storm blew in over the mountains, bringing more snow and sub-zero wind chill temperatures.

I havenít been able to maintain any hope that John is still alive. I believe he died within a day or two after he was last seen. The search and rescue folks will continue to look for him in a less intense manner although they are funded to resume an intensive search should any new leads develop.

I also feel that John knew what he was doing when he decided to continue. He was not a novice hiker or stupid man. You would have to be both to take that kind of risk. Iíve since found out he was a cancer survivor. Perhaps he knew something he didnít share. Although we will never know, I believe John walked into eternity of his own free will.

It may sound strange, but I find that comforting. I hated the thought that sheer bad luck or a malicious god snatched him away at the beginning of his great adventure. If it is as I believe then at least he chose his own fate.

He may be found as the snow pack melts further or itís possible that his body wonít be found for a long time. The ravines that he could have fallen into are deep and hard to explore. I will post again if we hear anything. Thank you all for your concern and prayers.

.................................................. .................................................. ...this was retrieved from www.livejournals.com (http://www.livejournals.com) -HAZLESDAUGHTER

06-26-2005, 21:52
Sad news.

Sorry for the loss of a fellow hiker!


06-26-2005, 22:00
I feel sorry for your loss. Hang in there.

06-26-2005, 23:06
so sad to hear this:cool: neo

06-30-2005, 11:12
So sorry about this; thanks for sharing.

wilderness bob
03-09-2006, 10:34
There but for the grace of God go you or I, may you and John both find peace.

03-25-2006, 14:19
I was just wondering about him last week. I'm sorry that he hasn't been found, and I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

Crazy Larry #1
03-25-2006, 19:50
i made contact with karen, a friend of his about a month ago and there is absolutely no trace or remnant that has been found of him....they think that he could have fell in one of the many deep crevaces in the area he was hiking.....

03-25-2006, 21:28
Just a thought. Please, ultra-lighters. Keep in mind as you cut ounces, averages are just that. Averages. One can easily survive for ever if storms and temperatures never change from average conditions.

Sadly, real numbers reflect real dangers.

Wise hikers will carry gear that reflect common real world conditions, i.e. the extreme conditions we all experience from time to time.

I've gambled and won many times in my hiking career. I've never forgotten the luck that enabled me to do so.

If your commitments and family responsibilities allow you to gamble. just carry whatever you are comfortable carrying. Otherwise, my suggestions are that we all need to look to probabilities, not averages.