Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Postby Myth » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:42 pm

Finalizing packing & route decision tonight. Base pack weight for me is right on 13 pounds. Every time I pack for a trip I realize I want to be more lightweight ... Spouse just chucks it all in and straps it on. I'm the hiking geek of this duo. :)

Also looks like me heading out is enough to bring the threat of rain to Joshua Tree. At least Friday is just a day hike or two in the afternoon and an evening in 29 Palms. Wouldn't want to sleep out in big wind gusts. And around 36F in 29 Palms Saturday night? - I bet it's another few colder up on Quail Mountain. Good thing the sleeping bags zip together ;)

We're going to go in from the NE, braid around the existing search tracks in the area, and angle west to the odor location. We'll swing back along a more southernly route. The exact route will be dictated by landscape and existing tracks loaded on the GPS. We're also headed up there to just have fun exploring at will in the back country, after all.

Anything we find will be noted, coordinates written down & GPS waypoint taken, and photographed. I'll probably post latish Sunday evening, or else Monday morning. It depends on what time we get back home. Don't expect anything, though.

Oh, and I bought a PLB and registered it. No desire to stay out there longer than planned!
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Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:42 pm

Myth wrote:Finalizing packing & route decision tonight. Base pack weight for me is right on 13 pounds. Every time I pack for a trip I realize I want to be more lightweight ... Spouse just chucks it all in and straps it on. I'm the hiking geek of this duo. :)

Also looks like me heading out is enough to bring the threat of rain to Joshua Tree. At least Friday is just a day hike or two in the afternoon and an evening in 29 Palms. Wouldn't want to sleep out in big wind gusts. And around 36F in 29 Palms Saturday night? - I bet it's another few colder up on Quail Mountain. Good thing the sleeping bags zip together ;)

We're going to go in from the NE, braid around the existing search tracks in the area, and angle west to the odor location. We'll swing back along a more southernly route. The exact route will be dictated by landscape and existing tracks loaded on the GPS. We're also headed up there to just have fun exploring at will in the back country, after all.

Anything we find will be noted, coordinates written down & GPS waypoint taken, and photographed. I'll probably post latish Sunday evening, or else Monday morning. It depends on what time we get back home. Don't expect anything, though.

Oh, and I bought a PLB and registered it. No desire to stay out there longer than planned!
Sounds like a smart search and trip plan.

I should take some lessons from you on effective lightening up.

Good luck.

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Postby drndr » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:09 am

Brrrrr. It's going to be cold. I would stick with HJ's 10,000 essentials and make 9990 of them something to keep me warm and then maybe a couple of them for my wife so she wouldn't hate me :)
"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time"
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Postby Hikin_Jim » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:09 pm

drndr wrote:HJ's 10,000 essentials...
What's this about 10,000 essentials? I always travel ultralight.
Image

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Postby » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:17 pm

And that was just for a day hike!


Luckily you have a counterweight on the front!
 
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Postby OtherHand » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:28 pm

Myth wrote:Finalizing packing & route decision tonight. Base pack weight for me is right on 13 pounds. Every time I pack for a trip I realize I want to be more lightweight ... Spouse just chucks it all in and straps it on. I'm the hiking geek of this duo. :)

Also looks like me heading out is enough to bring the threat of rain to Joshua Tree. At least Friday is just a day hike or two in the afternoon and an evening in 29 Palms. Wouldn't want to sleep out in big wind gusts. And around 36F in 29 Palms Saturday night? - I bet it's another few colder up on Quail Mountain. Good thing the sleeping bags zip together ;)

We're going to go in from the NE, braid around the existing search tracks in the area, and angle west to the odor location. We'll swing back along a more southernly route. The exact route will be dictated by landscape and existing tracks loaded on the GPS. We're also headed up there to just have fun exploring at will in the back country, after all.

Anything we find will be noted, coordinates written down & GPS waypoint taken, and photographed. I'll probably post latish Sunday evening, or else Monday morning. It depends on what time we get back home. Don't expect anything, though.

Oh, and I bought a PLB and registered it. No desire to stay out there longer than planned!


Good luck on your adventure. Looks like the weather is improving for Saturday. The NWS shows a high of about 51 degrees for the Samuelson area, and the wind only 10 mph. That's not bad for February. Doesn't look like there will be snow accumulation up on the higher terrain either.

You might want to keep the coordinates for the Serin cell tower in your GPS. That way you can easily check exactly how far away from it you are. The coords are:

34.153038, -116.389843

I also sent you a PM with some further info.
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Postby Myth » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:42 pm

Hikin_Jim - that picture cracks me up! Imagine someone under a huge red cumulonimbus pack and you've nailed me about 15 years ago.

OtherHand - I'm glad the rain is holding off for Saturday according to the forecast - not to mention the wind. I'm not fully recovered from a night in a flapping tent from the last time yet!

Shoot, that reminds me - ear plugs. Gotta pack some, just in case. I was worried about the snow accumulation since that would have obscured details, but looks like it will be OK.

I like hiking in cold weather - keeps the water intake manageable, and my engine runs really hot once I get going so the cool weather helps. I'm the nut in shorts and a sleeveless gym tee motoring along while everybody else is muffled up eyes-only.

Of course, on this hike it is strictly long everything. Thorns hurt.

Great help on the cell tower coords, too. That's a great idea.
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Postby Myth » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:09 pm

Phew. Am back. TIRED.

Quick points:

Sadly, no trace of Bill found.

Terrain needs RESPECT up there.

Dangit, was it cold! I pick the worst weekends for these things.

All the hats I've ever had off to OtherHand and friends for going in there over and. Over.

That said, had a blast. Hope to return and do more. Weather really worked against us. Also injury just prior to trip.

I'll post more during the week.
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Postby OtherHand » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:04 am

Myth wrote:Sadly, no trace of Bill found.


Well, crap....sorry to hear that. I was sincerely hoping someone else would find him so I'd be able to avoid all the "fun" stuff that comes from such an event. Dealing with the authorities on something like this just gets too weird for my taste. That, and I really would rather not have to go back out there again.

I have heard stories that some people go to Joshua Tree and just go on fun hikes for no reason at all. But I'm fairly sure they're just stories....
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Postby Myth » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:52 pm

OtherHand wrote:Well, crap....sorry to hear that. I was sincerely hoping someone else would find him so I'd be able to avoid all the "fun" stuff that comes from such an event. Dealing with the authorities on something like this just gets too weird for my taste. That, and I really would rather not have to go back out there again.

What's that? Me deal with the authorities? Here I thought I'd just send you some coords and you'd go out there and take care of it! ;)

I've been rolled over by work this week but I WILL try to write a post & show some pics later this week. Also - sent you some stuff.
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