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Update: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours
#26614 08/07/12 09:44 AM
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Edit May 30, 2013:   This occurred last summer. See below for current updates.




MISSING HIKER
LAST SEEN SUNDAY EVENING, AUGUST 5th, HIKING MOUNT WHITNEY




NAME: SHYAM DAS
AGE: 68
HEIGHT: 5'5"
BUILD: SMALL-MEDIUM
WEARING: NAVY BLUE TRACK PANTS, GREEN DAY BACK, WHIT TOWEL ON HEAD


IF SEEN OR ANY OTHER INFO, PLEASE CALL 408.446.4985

Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
searchingForDas #26621 08/07/12 11:35 AM
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I just called this number and was astonished to be told that the family had NOT reported this to Inyo Sherrif or anyone else. I did that and urged the family to call the number I gave them for ICSO, which is posted at the site.

Voicemail only at that number however.

If someone knows a faster way to get the word to SAR, please get on it.

The family needs help


Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!
Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
saltydog #26622 08/07/12 11:38 AM
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Thank you so much for the call. We're indeed acting on it. We're very unfamiliar with how to handle this type of situation, so any additional advice is welcome.

Again, thank you for your help.

Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
searchingForDas #26627 08/07/12 12:13 PM
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I just spoke with Inyo Sherriff's office, and was assured that they are working it. My very best wishes to the Shyam Das family for a good outcome.


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Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
saltydog #26636 08/07/12 02:38 PM
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Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. John Muir
Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
Kandy #26637 08/07/12 02:40 PM
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Shyam Das has been found. He's alive and breathing but has sustained a head injury and is being taken the local hospital immediately.

Thank you all so much for your help and warmth, our best wishes to you all and please hope for a good recovery. Thank you.

The Das Family

Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
searchingForDas #26639 08/07/12 02:46 PM
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Sharing the family's joy in the rescue, and prayers for a full recovery.

Last edited by saltydog; 08/07/12 03:41 PM.

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Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
saltydog #26662 08/07/12 09:39 PM
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I am sure glad he will be ok! I hope more details of the situation will be available.

Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
Steve C #26689 08/08/12 10:53 AM
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Saltydog found more details at   YubaNet.com

The details are very interesting...

He was located "below Mirror Lake"
Quote:
The last known interaction anyone had with Das was around sunset in the Trail Camp area on Sunday evening when an unrelated hiking group noticed Das wandering; Das was offered food and water before he departed.

Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
Steve C #26749 08/09/12 03:08 PM
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Some more details on Shyam Das, but also a report on three other rescues. These blokes do this unpaid, on their own time, and we only really hear about it when the consequences are dire. Magnificent!

Also, we have read in other places that the rescue organizations are not always thanked by the families involved. This was an exception.







Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
wagga #26751 08/09/12 03:27 PM
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The slabs above Mirror Lake may have struck again (along with a case of summit fever). That's the only section of the MMWT where the trail disappears for a bit and you have to find your way along if you've not done it before. Walking down at night, possibly without a headlamp and likely exhausted, I can easily see someone missing that turn to the left and walking right into trouble - and off the slabs.

Hope Mr. Das's injuries are not too severe and wishing him a speedy recovery.

Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
wagga #26761 08/09/12 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: wagga
Some more details on Shyam Das, but also a report on three other rescues. These blokes do this unpaid, on their own time, and we only really hear about it when the consequences are dire. Magnificent!

Also, we have read in other places that the rescue organizations are not always thanked by the families involved. This was an exception.


Wagga is right on in this observation. I have been backchannel with this family, and they have been incredibly generous in their appreciation of the least effort in support.

As with all such situations, there will be many insights to be gained, but the value of community will not be the least of these. Many people may approach these situations with no sense of accountability, but the Das family is somehow beyond exceptional in their appreciation, in every sense ( look it up!).

This has my attention and I hope it has yours.


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Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
Bulldog34 #26764 08/09/12 05:44 PM
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Bulldog,

The first three times down this trail I walked off the trail in this area. Since then, every time I go down it I really pay attention to where I go.

It is not unusual to see people wandering around here in search of a trail.

Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
saltydog #26771 08/09/12 06:38 PM
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SaltyDog:

"I just called this number and was astonished to be told that the family had NOT reported this to Inyo Sherrif or anyone else. I did that and urged the family to call the number I gave them for ICSO, which is posted at the site."

If you had not contacted the family there may have been a significantly worse outcome.

But that is what this forum is all about.


Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
wbtravis #26779 08/09/12 11:45 PM
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Anybody have any pictures showing the right & wrong way through this area? (love the red markers that everyone uses) I only have a very vague recollection about this part of the trail.


The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
wagga #26781 08/10/12 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted By: wagga
SaltyDog:

"I just called this number and was astonished to be told that the family had NOT reported this to Inyo Sherrif or anyone else. I did that and urged the family to call the number I gave them for ICSO, which is posted at the site."

If you had not contacted the family there may have been a significantly worse outcome.

But that is what this forum is all about.


I don't want to take too much credit here: the hiker's friends on the Inyo side had initiated SAR, but the family were not completely informed, apparently. I was just makin' sure.


Wherever you go, there you are.
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Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
Bee #26782 08/10/12 04:40 AM
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No photos, Bee, but it's a matter of remembering to pay attention during the descent. Ascent doesn't seem as bad. Once you've climbed the switchbacks above Mirror Lake you hit a relatively short slabby area. As you're climbing, the inclination to bear right and continue upward is normal and will lead you back onto the identifiable trail after you've crested the slabs.

Down is where it can get tricky. You're walking the trail downhill and you transition to unmarked granite. After a bit you need to swing left on the slabs and you'll soon pick up the trail again, heading down the switchbacks to the lake. Inertia and the lack of a clearly marked trail can cause hikers to just continue down the slabs in a straight line, missing that left turn, and the terrain gets progressively steeper. I would imagine that descending this area in the dark can be sketchy.

Like wbtravis, I've learned to pay attention here. I've also found myself scratching my head and wondering what the hell happened.

And kudos to Salty for his proactive approach to this situation. That could easily have been the difference between life and death.

Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
Bulldog34 #26784 08/10/12 09:54 AM
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Bee,

I believe ascending through is not an issue because you are moving at a slower pace, you are performing at top level and, as a day hiker, you are with the bunch. During the descent, you are traveling at a much faster pace, you are on cruise control, tired and the bunch that you had going up is dispersed going down...at least that is how I have found it to be. I've been the only going through there a few times.

A good way to remedy this, beyond paying particular attention, is to stop at Trailside Meadow for an extended break. Take your shoes off, soak your feet, dunk your head and have something eat. This way you go through this section rip roaring and raring to go.

Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
searchingForDas #31602 05/30/13 03:52 PM
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Update: Remember this from last summer? Its even more remarkable. Turns out this incident played out over two days before Das fell off the trail. The party left the Portal on Saturday, not Sunday as originally reported Here , Das dropped out and descended to the portal that night and set out again the next morning, alone. Reading the two stories together, he spent 7 hours on the trail from Portal to Trail Camp where he met up with his party on their descent, but would not go down with them. He then spent 3 hours getting to about 12,650 ft, then another hour descending back to TC at about 6. Some time later, he fell off the trail above Mirror Lake and lay unconscious until he was found Tuesday.

As of March this year, he was still recovering from coma, head trauma and the two days exposure before he was found. Amazing he survived.

New Story here


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Re: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours - Shyam Das - Details Inside
saltydog #31603 05/30/13 04:26 PM
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This is good reminder to not push yourself. The mountain will always be there.


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