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#55424 - 06/16/19 09:46 AM Recovered: Ling Dao - Missing Whitney Hiker, Last Seen 6/12
Bllw Offline


Registered: 06/16/19
Posts: 7
Loc: Md
Edit: See news release below
Hello,

One of my good friends, Ling Dao, attempted the Whitney hike solo this past Wednesday June 12th. His supposed start was early Wednesday morning between 2am-4am. He was supposed to be done by late late Wednesday or early Thursday. He was supposed to return home by Friday. He has not answered anyone's texts or calls. His rental car is still at the site. His family filed a missing persons report and said they will now do a search and rescue.

Attached is an Instagram link with photos. photos He's aprrox. 6"1 and 160lbs. If anyone has seen him can you please let us know approximately when and where on the trail. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you



Edited by Steve C (06/19/19 08:17 AM)

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#55426 - 06/16/19 12:22 PM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: Bllw]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7873
Loc: Fresno, CA
Oh my! I am so sorry he has not returned. Here's hoping they find him.

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#55427 - 06/16/19 12:27 PM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: Steve C]
Bllw Offline


Registered: 06/16/19
Posts: 7
Loc: Md
Thanks they are searching.

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#55430 - 06/16/19 01:37 PM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: Bllw]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1566
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
What is the area above Mirror Lake like now, especially those switchers above Trailside Mdw?
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#55432 - 06/16/19 05:33 PM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: saltydog]
Bllw Offline


Registered: 06/16/19
Posts: 7
Loc: Md
Sorry was this post meant for this post. My friend is missing.

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#55435 - 06/17/19 08:30 AM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: Bllw]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 502
Loc: Nashville, TN
Yes,

Salty was asking because that section of trail is a very common spot that hikers get off the trail.
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@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#55436 - 06/17/19 08:31 AM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: Bllw]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 502
Loc: Nashville, TN
What is your friend's name?
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#55437 - 06/17/19 09:10 AM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: Bllw]
Bensta Offline


Registered: 06/17/19
Posts: 5
Loc: Georgia, USA
Bllw, I am very sorry to hear that your friend is missing. I have been praying for him since seeing this news.

I hiked the standard route with a friend from 11:50pm Wednesday night (6/12) until we returned to Whitney Portal at 8:05pm (Thursday night 6/13). We sumitted at 12:05 pm on 6/13. We did not notice anything out of the ordinary besides tired hikers on the way down early Thursday morning. I am fairly certain we did not pass your friend. There were several places an accident could happen and from the 6/13 perspective, this is where I would personally focus search efforts.

1) Whitney Summit to Trail Crest - Particularly around the Needles and Mt. Muir traverse sections. There were some difficult sections on the traverse where footholds were limited and holding on to rocks was required to safely navigate the trail. Some sections did not even have a full foot width of melting ice ledge to stand on. There were steep drops that would cause injury or be hard to ascend from if someone slipped.

2) Between Mirror Lake and Outpost Camp. This was a difficult section to navigate as the trail was largely covered with snow and boot trails went every direction. While going down the mountain we saw many boot trails heading straight for Outpost Camp but of course between us and Camp was a waterfall and a steep/nearly cliff area. The actual trail goes to the left of Outpost Camp (from the perspective of descending the mountain), swtichbacks, and comes around to the Outpost Camp at a much easier angle. Another hiker recently posted about falling in this section with his dog.

3) Shortly before and after lone pine lake we found the trail hard to locate on the descent and had to rely on GPS several times. While the general trajectory one would have to go would be towards Whitney Portal there were places here one could get lost and even hurt (especially if tired).

4)Depending on what your friend was using to find the trail, he may have, like us, utilized the summer trail route via GPS. This route does not get as close to Consultation Lake as the snow/winter route, but instead climbs a ridge to the right (ascending) or left (descending) of Consultation Lake. While ascending, the trail traverses towards the Chute and Switchbacks just shy of Trail Camp. On most maps, you can see this ridge climb just below Consultation Lake because the trail actually turns 180 degrees on the ridge ascent before coming back around at another 180 degree turn.

On the ascent we took this route and had to cross a very steep snow field in excess of 40 degrees (having climbed Avalanche Gulch on Shasta, I know 40 degrees but I could not advise how much steeper this area was). We kicked steps into the ridge to cross safely. Most people did not take this route and a fall far down the ridge could go unnoticed for some time.

5) On our return trip, the 2nd water crossing from Whitney Portal (ascending) or 1st from the perspective of descending was a two fold waterfall, filling the trail with water for 30 feet and than plunging over the trail into a steep waterfall below with rocks and other debris. We took two paths through this - I walked through the water up to my knees and the current was not bad so I stayed near inside of trail and away from danger (though I got plenty wet). Others crossed on semi-submerged rocks near the edge. A slip from the rocks would have been bad. This crossing was not nearly as bad at 1:00am so I do not know what it looked like if your friend made it here late day on Wednesday. For this reason I am ranking it the 5th location.

Will try to get a full trip report done in the coming days but wanted to send this to you as an idea of conditions on the trail (from one hiker's perspective) within 24 hours of your friend's hike. Perhaps other hikers from Wed. and Thurs. may have additional or alternative perspectives of risk areas that may assist in the search.



Edited by Steve C (06/17/19 09:39 AM)

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#55438 - 06/17/19 11:04 AM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: Bensta]
Jamie Offline


Registered: 06/17/19
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Low probability, but just to add, on June 5 I hit a scary spot on the decent just east (downhill) of Mirror Lake, uphill of the Lone Creek Crossing. There was a snow bridge covering a pretty severe fall into a hidden creek at the base of a large boulder. I passed this at ~4am blindly but on the return that afternoon almost slid into a hole in the melting bridge. If you fell where the boulder has melted the drift, you would fall ~10 feet into shallow, rocky water and be pretty stuck and possibly very injured. The risk (as of June 5) was not very visible.

Map image: https://imgur.com/a/aARmT27

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#55439 - 06/17/19 12:12 PM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: Bensta]
Bllw Offline


Registered: 06/16/19
Posts: 7
Loc: Md
Thank you for your efforts and taking the time to assist us. This is very much appreciated. They have a s&r team out combing the area. Some fellow hikers reported they saw him at trail crest and the summit (presummit) They spoke to him on the summit and trail crest (presummit) Wednesday 6/12 (time not indicated). Fellow hiker indicated that on 6/14 they saw an unattended backpack and marked the coordinates as 36°34'21.1"N 118°17'29.9"W. Which puts that .9miles from the summit.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers in locating our friend.

Stevec edit: Including the map here. The coordinates above, (36.5725278,-118.2916389) are on the trail, just southwest of the "Third Needle".



Edited by Steve C (06/17/19 01:05 PM)

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#55440 - 06/17/19 12:13 PM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: Snacking Bear]
Bllw Offline


Registered: 06/16/19
Posts: 7
Loc: Md
Ling Dao

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#55441 - 06/17/19 12:14 PM Ling Dao - Missing Whitney Hiker - Last Seen 6/12
MtnBound Offline


Registered: 10/16/17
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
Inyo Sheriff's Office Release:
https://www.facebook.com/InyoCountySheri...hc_location=ufi

Whitney FB Group Info Thread:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/30962451768/
(pinned to top)

Reddit CampingandHiking Info Thread:
https://www.reddit.com/r/CampingandHikin...amp;sh=a4353f4f

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#55442 - 06/17/19 12:51 PM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: Bllw]
Bllw Offline


Registered: 06/16/19
Posts: 7
Loc: Md

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#55443 - 06/17/19 12:52 PM Re: Help!!! Please, Need Help in Locating a Friend [Re: Bensta]
Bllw Offline


Registered: 06/16/19
Posts: 7
Loc: Md


Edited by Bllw (06/17/19 12:54 PM)

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#55458 - 06/19/19 08:18 AM Re: Recovered: Ling Dao - Missing Whitney Hiker, Last Seen 6/12 [Re: Bllw]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7873
Loc: Fresno, CA
His body was found on the northwest side of Mt Whitney. Rest in peace, Ling Dao. Sincerest condolences to all your family.

Unfortunately, this is similar to May 2018: Fatal: Hiker fell on Whitney 2018-05-05
Best guess is they both got disoriented at the summit, and followed tracks
down to the deadly north side traverse ("easy walk-off" route when dry).

Sequoia National Park news release:
Quote:
INTERAGENCY NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Reference Number: 8550-1923

Contact: Sintia Kawasaki-Yee
Public Information Officer
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
E-mail: sintia_kawasaki-yee@nps.gov
Phone: 559-679-2866

Contact: Carma Roper
Public Information Officer
Inyo County Sherriff's Office
E-mail: croper@inyocounty.us

Missing Hiker Found on North Slope of Mt. Whitney in
Sequoia National Park


SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. June 19, 2019 - The body of missing hiker Ling Dao was located Tuesday afternoon on the north side of Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park and transported to the Ash Mountain Helibase in Sequoia National Park, where he was turned over to the Tulare County Coroner’s Office. Cause of death is under investigation.

Dao was reported missing to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, June 14 after not reporting for work. According to the reporting party, Dao flew into Las Vegas on Tuesday, June 11, had planned to summit Mt. Whitney on June 12, drive back to Las Vegas after summiting and catch a red-eye flight back home, to be at work on Thursday, June 13.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office contacted the rental car company that Dao used and was advised that Dao had returned his vehicle at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 14, but after continuing calls from family regarding Dao, the sheriff’s office decided to contact the rental company again, at which point differing information was provided. According to the rental car company’s updated information Dao had returned his vehicle on Saturday, June 15 around 11:45 a.m. A vehicle description and license plate information was requested and provided to the sheriff’s office, and later that day the rental vehicle was located in the Whitney Portal parking area, prompting search and rescue efforts to begin early on Sunday, June 16.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ staff was contacted to assist with search operations on Sunday, June 16. Park staff confirmed that day that Dao was not listed in the Mt. Whitney register. Search efforts were halted on June 17 due to unsafe weather conditions. On June 18 park staff received notification that the point last seen for Dao had been the summit of Mt. Whitney, at which point search by aircraft continued in the area, and the body was found and recovered.

The search area was approximately 30 square miles of high mountain terrain. The search teams included staff from Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Inyo Search and Rescue, Mono Search and Rescue, China Lake Mountain Rescue, and aerial reconnaissance from CHP- Inland Division Air Operations, as well as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Back-country conditions can still be hazardous this time of year with snow instability, ice, rock slide areas, and more. For current trail conditions please visit our website www.nps.gov/seki.
- ### -

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#55483 - 06/19/19 08:55 PM Re: Recovered: Ling Dao - Missing Whitney Hiker, Last Seen 6/12 [Re: Steve C]
Wiff Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 67
Loc: LA
God bless. Say a prayer for his family. And everybody remember to be careful before you have to.

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#55486 - 06/19/19 10:10 PM Re: Recovered: Ling Dao - Missing Whitney Hiker, Last Seen 6/12 [Re: Wiff]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7873
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Wiff
God bless. Say a prayer for his family. And everybody remember to be careful before you have to.
Amen to both sentences!

This is being heavily discussed on the "Hiker fell on Whitney" thread from May, 2018. Quoting from one of those posts:
Originally Posted By: jaym
"An air search located the body of Ling Dao on the north side of the 14,505-foot (4,421-meter) mountain in Sequoia National Park, according to a statement from the Inyo County Sheriff's Office."

"Dao was last seen alive at the summit by other hikers June 12, who informed authorities of the location which ultimately led them to his body about 1,900 feet (579 meters) from the summit at an altitude of about 12,600 feet (3,841 meters), Kawasaki-Yee said."

linktostory

This places him in the valley between Whitney and Russell I believe. So it would seem either he slipped while trying to get a "gander" at the Mountaineering Route or was actually trying to decend the MR.


Here's a map from CalTopo, the blue line is the 3840m (12,600') contour on the north side of Mt Whitney. Man, he took one lo-ong bobsled ride down!

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