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#50527 - 07/02/17 11:01 AM Re: lost hiker -- found [Re: John Sims]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: John Sims
I've zoomed in on Nico's route using two different maps within View Ranger, and you can see how far Nico wandered from the trail. First is using Google Physical Map



Second is using Open Cycle Map



You can also verify that these two maps fairly represent the trail by using Google Satellite Map. The trail is visible if zoomed fully in.

No wonder that Nico commented on the boulder field.


Oh wow!!! They really were off route!!!

Thanks, John, for the images.


Edited by Steve C (07/02/17 11:03 AM)

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#50528 - 07/02/17 12:35 PM Re: lost hiker -- found [Re: Nico1234]
vknyvz Offline


Registered: 07/02/17
Posts: 6
Loc: Los Angeles
yea we shouldn't follow that route man that spike is really weird smile

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#50531 - 07/02/17 01:23 PM Re: lost hiker -- found [Re: vknyvz]
Marv Offline


Registered: 07/02/17
Posts: 2
Loc: California
I really appreciate everyone's help in getting me back to Lone Pine. Nico did a fantastic job explaining things. I am the one who went down the rocks looking for the trail. I want to offer up my GPS track if you're interested to match up with Nico's and see where I started down looking for the trail and why I ended up at Guitar Lake. The GPS map is at Mount Whitney Hike 2017

I'm hoping adding this bit of information and offering to answer questions may help others.


Edited by Marv (07/02/17 01:25 PM)

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#50539 - 07/02/17 08:56 PM Re: lost hiker -- found [Re: Marv]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Marv: Thanks SO MUCH for posting your track. Where it ends at the 13,600 elevation, did you just continue on down from there? It has got to be really steep, but maybe with crampons, you could manage it.

So glad your trip ended ok!!! Last July, this hiker's life ended in the same general area as your descent -- near Guitar Lake, above the JMT. But he tried descending through the rocks, I believe. Link: Missing man on MR -- Recovered

I am posting the image of your track here (click to enlarge)

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#50552 - 07/03/17 11:05 AM Re: lost hiker -- found [Re: Steve C]
Marv Offline


Registered: 07/02/17
Posts: 2
Loc: California
Thanks for posting the map, Steve. I think it helps to better understand where I veered off from Nico. The GPX track stops at that point because I turned it off to save the battery (10% left on the external phone battery).

This point was the last slightly level spots I could lay down without sliding. After spending the night, I began sliding down again on my butt, taking paths that did not require large drop-downs to the next levels. This worked until I could go no further except with larger boulders or in the snow. I used crampons for the last 1,600 to 2,000 feet to the valley floor. I came out between Arctic Lake and Guitar Lake.

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#50565 - 07/04/17 09:05 AM Re: lost hiker -- found [Re: Nico1234]
CEric G Offline


Registered: 07/04/16
Posts: 4
Loc: Henderson, Nevada
Originally Posted By: Nico1234
I was a bit confused by all the squiggly lines in the GPS app. And I was relying too much on the two other people to know the way and to use their GPSs.


Thank you Nico for replying. I'm so glad that you and your group made it out okay.

It sounds so simple but I think the big takeaway here is to know how to use your GPS. At leat two out of the three in this group had a device. Marv said he turned his off to save his phone battery.

Something to consider if you find yourself in a similar situation is to text your GPX coordinates to someone who knows about your trip. I've been able to text when it appears that there's not enough signal to make a call.

Again, I'm so glad everyone is okay.

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#50604 - 07/05/17 10:38 AM Re: lost hiker -- found [Re: CEric G]
bobpickering Online


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Originally Posted By: CEric G
I think the big takeaway here is to know how to use your GPS.


Nope. The key is to pay attention to your surroundings and learn basic navigation skills. You should always know what direction the summit is, what direction your camp is, and what direction your car is. If you simply head in the general direction of down, will you end up near your camp, your car, or both? Or will you end up in Fresno? 99% of the time, you donít even need a map and compass, let alone a GPS, to know this.

Pay attention! Identify landmarks you can recognize on the way back. Donít rely on your partners or a battery-dependent electronic gizmo to save your butt.

Here is an extreme example: 21 years ago, my partner and I reached the summit of Mt. Williamson (14,370+) at 4:30 in the afternoon. It was February, it would be dark in half an hour, there was no moon, and it was starting to snow. And we had to descend some third class rock that now had snow on it without a rope. Four hours later, we were walking in 6Ē of fresh snow, and our old pre-LED headlamps had been off for 15-20 minutes to save batteries. We hadnít looked at the map in a long time, if at all. We decided that we must be near camp. We turned on our headlamps and camp was thirty feet away.

There is a lot more to navigation than knowing how to use your GPS.

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#50618 - 07/05/17 05:32 PM Re: lost hiker -- found [Re: bobpickering]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: bobpickering
Originally Posted By: CEric G
I think the big takeaway here is to know how to use your GPS.
Nope. The key is to pay attention to your surroundings and learn basic navigation skills.


DITTO
DITTO
DITTO

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#50621 - 07/05/17 07:36 PM Re: lost hiker -- found [Re: bobpickering]
CEric G Offline


Registered: 07/04/16
Posts: 4
Loc: Henderson, Nevada
Originally Posted By: bobpickering
Originally Posted By: CEric G
I think the big takeaway here is to know how to use your GPS.


Nope. The key is to pay attention to your surroundings and learn basic navigation skills. You should always know what direction the summit is, what direction your camp is, and what direction your car is. If you simply head in the general direction of down, will you end up near your camp, your car, or both? Or will you end up in Fresno? 99% of the time, you donít even need a map and compass, let alone a GPS, to know this.

Pay attention! Identify landmarks you can recognize on the way back. Donít rely on your partners or a battery-dependent electronic gizmo to save your butt.

Here is an extreme example: 21 years ago, my partner and I reached the summit of Mt. Williamson (14,370+) at 4:30 in the afternoon. It was February, it would be dark in half an hour, there was no moon, and it was starting to snow. And we had to descend some third class rock that now had snow on it without a rope. Four hours later, we were walking in 6Ē of fresh snow, and our old pre-LED headlamps had been off for 15-20 minutes to save batteries. We hadnít looked at the map in a long time, if at all. We decided that we must be near camp. We turned on our headlamps and camp was thirty feet away.

There is a lot more to navigation than knowing how to use your GPS.



I bet that Iím as old school as you when it comes to navigating. Your advice, ďpay attention to your surrounding and learn basic navigation skillsĒ sounds good but maybe you are not aware that some people donít have the same cognitive mapping skills that you and I have. In other words they have no sense of direction. My wife is that way. Weíve hiked hundreds of miles together and for years Iíve pointed out all the surroundings landmarks and features and yet she still can get lost walking through Taos square. For her and many
others it is not something that can simply be learned. Regardless of how Marv and Nico got lost what I canít wrap my mind around is how Marv continued down the wrong valley and turned off his GPS. I donít want to criticize Marv. I wasnít there. But why didnít he use it to reacquire his bearings? Sorry Marv Ė no disrespect. Iím so grateful you are okay!

Regarding ďThere is a lot more to navigation that knowing how to use your GPSĒ. Thank you, I had no idea (rolling my eyes), but I think you missed my point. I wasnít making an argument that a GPS is the end all to navigation. Nor should any hiker be dependent on that technology. That would be stupid and I think you know it. What you missed is that in this thread we learned that Marv and Nico each had a working ďbattery-dependentĒ GPS device when they went the wrong way and got lost. I doubt they were using it when they got lost. So it doesnít look like they were dependent on it. It looks more like they didnít use it to get back on the trail. Do you think Marv tried to text his latitude longitude coordinates that night? He didnít mention if he had a Ďtrack backí or Ďgo toí feature on his GPS. Nico didnít say anything about finding Marv using a location sharing app. I canít say whether or not any of these would have worked but you canít say that they would NOT have worked. And maybe help someone in the future.

This is real simple. If you have the GPS gizmo, and the gizmo has 10% battery-dependent life left, and you are lost, maybe you should know how to use the gizmo to find the trail or send your location, etc.

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#50625 - 07/05/17 08:54 PM Re: lost hiker -- found [Re: CEric G]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
CEric G: There is NO cellular reception in the areas where Marv was or where they lost their way. NO texts would get out, and it would further drain the cellular device's battery searching for service.

People are lucky to get a connection at t he summit. The only units that can report locations where they were are either SPOT or InReach units.

I have a Garmin gps unit, and I can assure you, figuring out where you are on those tiny maps with a tiny triangle visible makes it really hard to figure out where you are. We don't even know if their gps units even had a decent map loaded.

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