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#26173 - 07/24/12 01:25 PM Missing hiker, Mt Langley area: body found
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7228
Loc: Fresno, CA
Sequoia/Kings N.P. just issued a notice: (News Releases page)

Picture here:  Overdue Hiker

Quote:
THOMAS HENG
AGE: 31-years-old
HEIGHT: 6'0"
WEIGHT: 166 lbs.
EYES: Brown
HAIR: Short, black

IDENTIFYING FEATURES: Scar from left ear to base of neck PLUS large scar on left arm from elbow to wrist
LAST SEEN AT: Mt. Langley, at approx. 13,000 feet, on Sunday, July 22, 2012, at 1 p.m.

HIKING ROUTE INCLUDED: Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead through New Army Pass to the summit of Mt. Langley and back to Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead

TOM WAS LAST SEEN WEARING: White t-shirt, blue long pants, tan full-brimmed hat (in photo), and sunglasses (in photo), black hooded sweatshirt (on person), size 11 North Face mid-rise hiking shoes. .

IF YOU HAVE SEEN HIM: Please contact the Inyo County Sheriff's Department at (760) 878-0383 OR Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks' Dispatch at (559) 565-3195.

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#26176 - 07/24/12 07:49 PM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: Steve C]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
That's not good - sounds like a Langley dayhike on Sunday. If he hasn't shown up by today, definitely cause for concern. Hope they find him well, if maybe a bit chilled. If he was near the summit at 1:00 pm, there's no good reason he shouldn't have been back at the CL trailhead by late afternoon or early evening.

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#26183 - 07/25/12 09:31 AM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: Steve C]
juroknow Offline


Registered: 06/01/12
Posts: 19
Loc: Tehachapi, Ca.

Heading to Langley on Saturday. Keeping my fingers crossed that they find him in good health.

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#26184 - 07/25/12 09:54 AM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: juroknow]
tif Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 49
Loc: colton, ca
I'm heading up there this weekend too (overnight Sat/Sun) and I had the exact same thought - that he's found ok.

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#26185 - 07/25/12 10:08 AM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: Steve C]
femaleexpat Offline


Registered: 07/25/11
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Tom Heng is my hiking friend.

A week ago we just did Carillon and Russell so this news is so sad and too distraughting for us.

I really hope that Tom be found soon. I'm willing to volunteer if SAR is taking us.

The picture posted was taken by me when we reached the summit of Russell.

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#26186 - 07/25/12 10:21 AM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: femaleexpat]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
femaleexpat, very sorry to hear that he's still missing. Tom sounds like an experienced hiker, which mystifies even further since CL-to-Langley out-and-back is a straightforward Class II until the very summit. Are we correct in assuming this was a dayhike? Do you have any idea whether he was using Army Pass or New Army Pass?

We're keeping our fingers crossed for Tom's safe return. Please keep us posted.

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#26187 - 07/25/12 10:50 AM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: Steve C]
femaleexpat Offline


Registered: 07/25/11
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Tom is an experienced hiker. He has been to mountains above 20000 ft.

From what I know is, the group was taking the NAP route. Its a day hike with a total of 4 hikers in that group.

As of now we have not received any update from Tom's wife. I couldn't call his wife because she's already too hysterical.

Today is the third day of the search so we are waiting for what SAR is telling us.


Edited by femaleexpat (07/25/12 10:52 AM)

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#26188 - 07/25/12 11:30 AM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: femaleexpat]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7228
Loc: Fresno, CA
femaleexpat, SO sorry you are going through this crisis. I can't imagine having a friend out and missing like this.

Do you know the others in the group he was with? Can you give any info as to how he became separated from the others?

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#26189 - 07/25/12 11:51 AM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7228
Loc: Fresno, CA
News reports:
From SierraMadrePatch:     Locals Join Search for Missing Hiker in Sequoia National Park


And from LA Times:
Quote:
Earlier in the day, Heng had been hiking with friends on a route that passes from the Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead through New Army Pass. He struck out alone to the peak, one of California's 12 "fourteeners," mountains with more than 14,000 feet elevation.

Heng made it to the top, signing a register at the summit, said Sequoia National Park spokeswoman Dana Dierkes.

He was last seen Sunday about 1 p.m. about 13,000 feet. Heng is 6 feet tall, 166 pounds with short black hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt, blue pants, a tan full-brimmed hat and sunglasses. He was carrying a black-hooded sweatshirt and wearing size 11 North Face mid-rise hiking shoes.

Helicopters, staff from Sequoia-Kings Canyon and Yosemite national parks, the Inyo County Sheriff's Department and members of search and rescue teams from across California are involved in the search.



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#26190 - 07/25/12 12:08 PM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: Steve C]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Definitely hoping for a good outcome here. Plenty of "I Survived" stories out there much more extreme. Tom is definitely in our thoughts and prayers, femaleexpat.

On a side note, this is perfect example of the potential consequences from the actions of the clowns stealing the Sierra summit registers. SAR uses these as part of their process, and sometimes an enty - or lack thereof - can be crucial in determining which direction a search will go. Fortunately the Langley register is still intact - hopefully SAR can track down a few of the other people who signed it that day and maybe get a clearer picture.

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#26191 - 07/25/12 01:10 PM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: Bulldog34]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2211
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Picture/no new details from the LA Times.

_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#26193 - 07/25/12 02:00 PM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: Steve C]
ChrisIsar Offline


Registered: 07/25/12
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
Does anyone know if they are checking White Mountain? I'm trying to get in contact now. It was on his list for this weekend, I don't know that area well, but you can see his plans on this page; hope this somehow helps: http://www.meetup.com/anythingactive/events/71170592/



Friday, July 20, 2012

Motel/Camp in Lone Pine



Saturday, July 21, 2012

5am- Meet at Horseshoe Meadows Parking Lot (10,042 Feet) ( Lone Pine, CA)

530am- We start our ascent to Mount Langley

12pm- We should hit the Summit (14,032 Feet)

1230-1PM- Back to Parking Lot

Motel/Camp in Big Pine, CA



Sunday, July 22, 2012

6am- Drive up to White Mountain Pass ( 12,000 Feet)

9am- We should hit the Summit (14,252 Feet)

10am- Back down

1PM- Head Home

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#26201 - 07/25/12 06:35 PM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: Steve C]
femaleexpat Offline


Registered: 07/25/11
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Hello Hikers

Its the third day today, any news from the Rangers Office ?

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#26202 - 07/25/12 06:47 PM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: femaleexpat]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
A little more info at this link, same status. Bay Area SAR getting involved, more choppers and searchers.

http://sierramadre.patch.com/articles/lo...l-park-d6dc1c7e

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#26203 - 07/25/12 07:13 PM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: Steve C]
femaleexpat Offline


Registered: 07/25/11
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Thanks for that latest link..

Is there any way friends of Tom can help in the search and rescue ?

Its greatly appreciated if any Ranger could let us know.

Thanks

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#26205 - 07/25/12 07:59 PM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: femaleexpat]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: femaleexpat
Thanks for that latest link..

Is there any way friends of Tom can help in the search and rescue ?

Its greatly appreciated if any Ranger could let us know.

Thanks


I'm not a Search and Rescue guy, but I am a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger on the west side of the Sierra, and work with them occasionally.

Generally speaking, the Search and Rescue folks prefer that everyone else stay off the mountain in question.

They can generally get all the people they need, and more importantly, they are people who know HOW to look and WHERE to look.

One of the special skills that comes into play is TRACKING, highly specialized and difficult, that those who are skilled in utilize to look for evidence of a hiker's path. When a bunch of people start walking through an area, those tracks are destroyed, and the evidence is lost.

Right now, helicopters and perhaps planes are being used. With more random people on the ground, they have to check every single one of them out...distracting them from the search. Often, well-meaning people get themselves into terrain and altitude for which they are not prepared...and create secondary rescue needs.

This sort of search is a complex process. The first part involves a "hasty search", designed to look quickly in the most likely places where a person could be where they might be sitting, injured.

Once that has happened, there is a progressive spreading of the search pattern, from more likely to less likely, and farther away...while at the same time trying to get ahold of others who might have seen him, or hiked with him.

All of this has to be carefully tracked on maps, so as to not leave any terrain not searched.

SAR usually do their best jobs when they are left to it. If they need help, they are not shy about asking for it.

Looking on White Mountain is not neccessary. Easy enough to check if he slept in his motel that night. Certainly his hiking companions would know. Certainly the motel would know if he'd checked out. Presumably other hikers gave his appearance and what he was wearing...they are probably who reported him missing.

He signed the register.



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#26209 - 07/25/12 09:35 PM Re: Missing hiker notice, Mt Langley area [Re: femaleexpat]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: femaleexpat
Thanks for that latest link..

Is there any way friends of Tom can help in the search and rescue ?

Its greatly appreciated if any Ranger could let us know.

Thanks

Ken's advice is good. There are SAR heroes in the area that contribute valuable info to this board that would know more, but they're probably all out looking for Tom right now. Besides that, public information is handled by a dedicated PIO during an incident so we'll all just have to wait it out. I know you want to help, but there's nothing you can do without the specialize training and skills. Just keep your thoughts positive as best you can.

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#26212 - 07/25/12 11:11 PM Re: Missing hiker, Mt Langley area: body found [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7228
Loc: Fresno, CA
Very sad news...

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks News Release
For Immediate Release: July 25, 2012
Contact: Dana M. Dierkes
Phone: (559) 565-3131 (office) and (559) 679-2866 (cell)

Body of Missing Hiker Found

The body of Thomas Heng, the 31-year-old missing hiker from San Rafael, CA, has been found and positively identified in the Inyo National Forest, as part of search-and-rescue operations managed by the Inyo County Sheriff's Office and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Heng was last seen on Sunday, July 22, 2012, at 1 p.m., while on a day hike to Mount Langley. The incident is under investigation.

In addition to the lead agencies, the following organizations were part of the search efforts: China Lake Mountain Rescue Group, Friends of Yosemite Search and Rescue ("YODOGS"), Inyo National Forest, Manzanar National Historic Site, Montrose Search and Rescue, Sierra Madre Search and Rescue, Tulare County Sheriff's Department, and Yosemite National Park.
- NPS -


Links:   SEKI News Releases,    July 25, 2012 Body of Missing Hiker Found


Edit: Bob R of the CLMRG team posted pictures from the search and recovery operation here:   2012-07-25 Tom Heng Search
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Let me be the first to extend the sincerest condolences to Mr Heng's wife and family. It is always more difficult when younger people leave us.



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#26214 - 07/25/12 11:38 PM Re: Missing hiker, Mt Langley area: body found [Re: Steve C]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Condolences to family and friends.

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#26216 - 07/26/12 01:02 AM Re: Missing hiker, Mt Langley area: body found [Re: Steve C]
femaleexpat Offline


Registered: 07/25/11
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Thanks a lot for this forum. Its very sad news for us who have hike with Tom.

I couldn't comprehend how it happened. Condolence to Tom's wife and family is all I can say.

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