There are some very concerning reports this past week of hikers who have been reported missing in the Sierra. This is very serious stuff, and we can only hope for the best possible outcome for these folks and their loved ones.
In two of the cases, these were solo hikers who tended to go off trail, making Search and Rescue operations a good deal more complicated. As the first big snow of the season came through, the hikers did not make it back to the trailhead, and massive SAR efforts got underway.
A number of the backpacking message boards on the internet are now alive with discussions of the searches, with posters offering everything from advice and second-guessing to serious analysis of the situation, condition reports, and potential routes and tactics that might have been used by the missing hikers.
One of the hikers has been found, thanks to tracks in the snow that were visible to air searchers. The other hiker is still missing in Kings Canyon/Sequoia, near Taboose Pass. Weather conditions are now deteriorating for a second storm, and much of the SAR operations have been suspended or ended. Volunteers are now extending the search, and we wish them every success.
in the meantime, here is a link to the NPS flyer on the missing hiker:
IF YOU HAVE SEEN/CONTACTED HIM OR HAVE MORE INFO: Please contact Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ Dispatch at (559) 565-3195 OR the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department at (760) 878-0383
And please be careful in the mountains. The Sierra Nevada is the world's greatest backpacking destination, but it can be dangerous. And as the winter weather sets in, that will greatly heighten the danger.