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#54774 - 03/08/19 08:46 PM Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8
Maverick Offline


Registered: 02/11/13
Posts: 100
Loc: CA

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#54779 - 03/11/19 12:27 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Maverick]
pcieluch Offline


Registered: 08/29/16
Posts: 51
Loc: duluth,mn
Mav, from reading a few of the reports, I take it he was doing the SHR on skies? I've watched a few Utubes of guys doing that route. Sure hope they locate him.

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#54781 - 03/11/19 02:43 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: pcieluch]
Maverick Offline


Registered: 02/11/13
Posts: 100
Loc: CA

Quote:
Mav, from reading a few of the reports, I take it he was doing the SHR on skies?


That is correct.

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#54782 - 03/11/19 02:52 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Maverick]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7680
Loc: Fresno, CA
Just received this update:


Quote:
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Inyo County Sheriff's Office

United States Marine Corps
1st Marine Division

INTERAGENCY NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Reference Number:
8550-1908

Contact: Mike Theune, National Park Service PIO
E-mail: mike_theune@nps.gov
Media Number: 559-565-3704

Contact: Carma Roper, Inyo County Sherriff PIO
E-mail: croper@inyocounty.us

Contact: Capt. Paul Gainey, 1st Marine Division Spokesperson
E-mail: paul.gainey@usmc.mail

Search Continues for Missing US Marine in Central Sierra Nevada

CENTRAL SIERRA NEVADA, Calif. March 11, 2019 - This is the sixth day of an intense multiagency search for missing Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant Matthew Kraft, a 24 year old man from Washington, Connecticut. 1st Lt. Kraft is 6'1" and 185 pounds.

1st Lt. Kraft's planned itinerary is the 195-mile Sierra High Route; he is believed to have hiked out of Kearsarge Pass on Feb 24 with a plan of concluding his hike near the Twin Lakes area by Bridgeport, CA on March 4 or 5. Kraft commissioned as a Marine Corps officer on May 6, 2016. He graduated from some of the Marine Corps' most rigorous training including Infantry Officer Course and Winter Mountain Leaders Course.

On March 4, 1st Lt. Kraft's father contacted Mono Sheriff after not hearing from his son. Mono County Sheriff's Office began checking trail heads in the Bridgeport area that day. Cell phone forensics initiated by Mono Sheriff showed that his last phone activity was in the Independence area. Inyo County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue began a search on March 5. The evening of March 8, 1st Lt. Kraft's vehicle was located at the Grays Meadows campground above Independence, CA.

Both aerial and ground search operations have been utilized; however, weather conditions in the Sierra have been a significant challenge. Additionally, both ground teams and aerial support have noted avalanche activity throughout the wilderness, including along the Sierra High Route.
“Snow instability will remain a challenge as search teams attempt to clear portions of the route,” stated Inyo Sheriff's Search and Rescue Coordinator, Sergeant Nate Derr.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Incident Commander Dave Fox added “We know the public is very interested in helping with the ground search effort, but due to the extreme hazards in the search area, we are not requesting any outside units at this time."

Today the search plan includes air lifting two Inyo County Search and Rescue avalanche experts to the crest of Kearsarge Pass so they can begin to clear the route on the east side and assess avalanche risk for future search operations. On the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks side of the crest work continues to follow-up on possible points of interest and look for any new clues.

Air support is being coordinated with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Fresno County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, Air National Guard, and United States Marine Corps. Fresno Sheriff, Mono Sheriff, Inyo Sheriff and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks are currently in Unified Command. Other agencies assisting include United States Marine Corps, Madera County Sheriff, Yosemite National Park, and California Office of Emergency Services. In addition, two Marines from Kraft's unit are assisting authorities with search efforts at the Search and Rescue Coordination Center.
For more information about this search please visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6272/

If you think you might have seen 1st Lt. Kraft or even been in the search area since February 23, please call 888-653-0009 or visit https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1563/submit-a-tip.htm
- ### -

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#54794 - 03/13/19 04:09 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1563
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Haven't seen anything new on this since the avy experts were inserted at Kearsarge. ANyone have anything more recent?
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#54795 - 03/13/19 04:43 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: saltydog]
Splash Offline


Registered: 03/09/19
Posts: 7
Loc: NV
Haven’t seen any word at all

The inciweb has updated once each day, but I have not seen any posting with any news at all

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#54797 - 03/13/19 07:34 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Splash]
Splash Offline


Registered: 03/09/19
Posts: 7
Loc: NV
Just found this update of the search area off of inciweb (via supertopo)

"Backcountry snow instability and weather issues (including high winds) have been a significant challenge. Both aerial and ground searched have identified avalanche activity, cornices, and snow bridges throughout the wilderness, including along the Sierra High Route. The search zone has been determined to be larger than the State of Rhode Island and consists of the 195-mile Sierra High Route as well as multiple points of potential exit.

In previous days, Inyo SAR was busy with aerial reconnaissance; areas covered included trails and surrounding area near Kearsarge Pass and Onion Valley Road. CHP Inland Division Air Operations assisted. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks performed searches via air along with on the ground in areas that were determined to be safe and accessible in the vicinity of Cedar Grove.

Future plans include inserting Inyo SAR and Mono SAR team members below Kearsarge Pass near Big Pothole Lake. Additional ground searches are also being coordinated by multiple agencies if searchers feel they can be inserted safely- avalanche issues will remain a point of concern."

This might be familiar territory to the WP crew

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#54799 - 03/14/19 06:16 AM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Splash]
pcieluch Offline


Registered: 08/29/16
Posts: 51
Loc: duluth,mn
Anyone out there know how long it takes to ski the SHR? I've seen a few Utubes on the trip done late April or into May. He was doing it in 10 days. 20 miles a day on that route in the summer months is daunting. Can one really do that many miles a day on skis?

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#54800 - 03/14/19 06:47 AM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: pcieluch]
Splash Offline


Registered: 03/09/19
Posts: 7
Loc: NV
This is the Utube that Andrew Bentz & Co did in April 2017.

They both have A LOT OF EXPERIENCE in this area (Bentz had record for fastest JMT unsupported at 3 d 10 hr 59 min). Looks idyllic, but conditions were very different than Lt Kraft faces. They had no precipitation it appears, terrific visibility, lots of packed snow, 2 of them to split carrying gear, and they bailed out once to Mammoth. They also ended in Tuolumne Meadows, not another 20 miles farther along at Mono Village, Twin Lakes where Lt Kraft intends to end his trip. And because of the snow packing, they weren't always breaking new tracks in fresh, heavy wet snow in blizzards as he would be doing

They did it in 9 days in what looks like perfect conditions.

So yeah, 15 miles a day in perfect conditions entirely possible

They didn't exactly follow the summer route as the snow cover allowed them to much more easily and quickly descend and ski through talus fields and lake basins.

So 20 miles a day even in perfect conditions sounds, very optimistic.

Surely he left a more detailed plan with bail out options with someone. Also unclear as to why he wouldn't take advantage of a PLB. (At least we haven't been told he had a PLB). Maybe something happened before he even activated it)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZojE9nhR88o

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#54802 - 03/14/19 09:13 AM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Splash]
pcieluch Offline


Registered: 08/29/16
Posts: 51
Loc: duluth,mn
Thanks for the link, its a great video of the trip. I've looked at the guided trips they offer in late April or May but the cost is way to steep for me. That video made the trip look at lot easier that I'm sure it is.

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#54805 - 03/14/19 12:56 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: pcieluch]
Maverick Offline


Registered: 02/11/13
Posts: 100
Loc: CA

Quote:
The inciweb has updated once each day, but I have not seen any posting with any news at all.


That's because unfortunately there is nothing new to report. frown

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#54806 - 03/14/19 01:03 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Maverick]
Splash Offline


Registered: 03/09/19
Posts: 7
Loc: NV
Inicweb has been adding information about the search areas in the text of the incident report, without using addendums.

They’ve also been adding some good photos.

They’ve visited Muir Hut by copter and today are planning to go to Big Pothole Lake just below Kearsage Pass. Nice photo of it in the deep snow

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#54808 - 03/14/19 03:15 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Splash]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7680
Loc: Fresno, CA
Splash, thanks for the note. That picture is pretty amazing:



Is that White Mountain across the Owens Valley? I thought it was much farther north.

Click this link to open in a new window -- full size.
Then click the picture again to expand to maximum.

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#54810 - 03/14/19 04:34 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Steve C]
Splash Offline


Registered: 03/09/19
Posts: 7
Loc: NV

White Mountain Peak is at the level of Mammoth, so it’s about 50 miles north of Onion Valley Road.

Not sure where that is - might be in Death Valley.

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#54811 - 03/14/19 04:50 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Splash]
Splash Offline


Registered: 03/09/19
Posts: 7
Loc: NV
Here’s one of the latest photos released today.

Group skied up from the trailhead at the Campground

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/photograph/6272/1/91033

If only Lt Kraft has this kind of weather on his trip

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#54816 - 03/15/19 06:15 AM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Splash]
pcieluch Offline


Registered: 08/29/16
Posts: 51
Loc: duluth,mn
That pic of the Muir Hut with the guy standing next to it really shows how much snow is up there.

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#54821 - 03/16/19 04:43 PM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: pcieluch]
Splash Offline


Registered: 03/09/19
Posts: 7
Loc: NV
Iniciweb has announced they are cutting back the active search.

They won't be making any more updates unless warranted:

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6272/

"Search and rescue authorities have been unable to locate evidence of Kraft’s location along his planned route."

It looks quite beautiful up there today. I hope they find him soon as spring comes on and give the family some relief.

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/CAKNP/201...59.476-CDT.jpeg

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/CAKNP/201...59.712-CDT.jpeg


Edited by Splash (03/16/19 04:44 PM)

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#54822 - 03/17/19 11:34 AM Re: Missing Person Alert SEKI 3/8 [Re: Splash]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7680
Loc: Fresno, CA
Such an unfortunate situation. I sure hope his family can find peace.

I am sure all here send their condolences.

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