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[Yosemite]

Missing Hiker Alert 4/23 Yosemite

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Missing Hiker Alert 4/23 Yosemite

Postby Maverick02 » Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:17 pm

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Re: Missing Hiker Alert 4/23 Yosemite

Postby snowcreek » Fri May 14, 2021 11:38 am

Its odd how many people go missing in Yosemite on the valley trails. I really wonder what happens to these people. You would think some of these folks would be found by now. George Penca went missing in 2011. They never found anything.
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Re: Missing Hiker Alert 4/23 Yosemite

Postby balzaccom » Fri May 14, 2021 5:27 pm

This hiker (Ralph Elliott) was hiking up at the top of Yosemite Falls...lots of area to cover up there, and frankly, if you get off the trail, not very many people at all. Quite a difference from hiking around the Valley itself.
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963
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Re: Missing Hiker Alert 4/23 Yosemite

Postby snowcreek » Fri May 14, 2021 6:48 pm

George Penca was last seen at the top of the falls trail.
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Re: Missing Hiker Alert 4/23 Yosemite

Postby Phil » Fri May 28, 2021 5:26 am

The key phrase in the missing person report was that Ralph Elliot was likely suffering suicidal ideations. To me, that indicates what can't be dismissed as a very real possibility, and the top of the falls is somewhat notorious in that regard. Aside from the ability to know for certain precisely where anything that happened did happen (if it did happen at all to begin with), take a person that falls or throws themselves off a cliff of any great height and consider what that does to the human body, add in the nooks and crannies of a boulder or talus field directly below, maybe burial under scree, undoubtedly throw in some animal activity and further decomposition, and honestly, in not too much time at all there isn't really much to find, if anything at all.

Lost hikers in general: aside from the shear magnitude of the areas in comparison to the smallness of a single person, lost and never found isn't too far out there in the realm of potential outcomes. Cars, airplanes, people...you pretty much name it, and it's not uncommon for it to take years to find things just about anywhere in the Sierras. Take into account people that present as inexperienced (day hikers are the subjects most of the time) and constantly moving targets that often make their own rescue even more difficult, ill-prepared in the way of knowledge and even basic navigational skills, clothing, gear, food...often a lack of reliable eyewitness statements for establishing PLS beyond a trailhead or major trail junction, them hunkering in hard for protection against weather and perishing where they sit, and no matter how many SAR resources thrown at the search, and even with happy endings thankfully being the overwhelming norm, it's just not possible to find everyone, every time.
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Re: Missing Hiker Alert 4/23 Yosemite

Postby AlmostThere » Fri May 28, 2021 5:48 am

I remember being on mutual aid SARs and having long chats with YoSAR members. It isn't uncommon apparently for folks to park in the valley and disappear for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they die in the backcountry. Sometimes they get on a bus and vanish that way.... People have all kinds of reasons for going on the lam.
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