The Missing Irish Hiker--Family asks for help ...

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The Missing Irish Hiker--Family asks for help ...

Postby cynthia23 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:54 pm

The sad tale of the missing PCT hiker, a young man from Ireland--his family is here in California, searching and asking if anyone hiking near Idyllwild or Whitewater at that time may have seen him (or his backpack.) Check it out in case it rings any memory chimes ....


http://www.kesq.com/news/family-of-lost ... /654322823
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Re: The Missing Irish Hiker--Family asks for help ...

Postby Perry » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:42 pm

It's possible that the DWA has a video of him coming down the PCT, but if they don't and there's a camera pointed at the PCT, that might narrow things down to the Mt. San Jacinto area, assuming he just got lost or injured and no unusual explanations for what happened.

We might be able to analyze reported snow conditions and photos around April 7 and a few days after to see where there were footprints to follow and where there were not. I believe the least-traveled areas in snowy conditions would be between "Angel's Glide" and Strawberry Junction and also Fuller Ridge, but I've never been over on that side except in summer.

The other question is where somebody would be most likely to slip and slide a long ways. I believe the same 2 areas.

Edit: Strawberry Junction (Deer Springs Trail), not Deer Springs.
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Re: The Missing Irish Hiker--Family asks for help ...

Postby zippetydude » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:19 pm

You know, we are all so fortunate that we have not experienced this. I can't imagine the 24/7 wondering, worrying, hoping, grieving that must take place, especially for the parents. Just because your child is an adult does not mean you lose any of the feelings of love and protectiveness that you felt when they were little.

As far as the actual hiker was concerned, finding personal peace while hiking in the wilderness rings a very true tone in my own life, I hope it was the same in his.

And yet again, the family is left wondering if he is okay and has just gone off for a while to think or if he has somehow lost his life by some means or other. Perry, your DWA idea is very smart and could encapsulate the search very quickly. Do you know if they have weighed in one way or the other?

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Re: The Missing Irish Hiker--Family asks for help ...

Postby RichardK » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:28 pm

The L.A. Times said on August 11:

According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, O’Sullivan was last seen sometime in April in the Whitewater Preserve, a 2,851-acre area surrounded by San Gorgonio Wilderness.


If this statement is correct, then why search around Mt. San Jacinto. Isn't he past that area?
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Re: The Missing Irish Hiker--Family asks for help ...

Postby Perry » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:09 pm

Zip, yes, it is hard for us to fully understand what the family has been going through without us experiencing something similar or watching somebody go through it. We've all experienced the loss of someone we know, but probably not a grown up child, and very few of us have had the lack of closure over an extended period of time. Also, having questions from the media and reading insensitive comments on news articles would be stressful.

I don't know if investigators contacted DWA. They may not know about the cameras. How would they? It's not obvious unless you've been there before or heard about the crackdown on climbers trespassing.

The organized search page is here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/140662906657636/
The group admin is going to contact the DWA.

Unlike our past threads about missing hikers, it's likely the family will read this thread because I linked to it. Something to consider.

Richard, the admin of the Facebook group is not fully confident in the sighting at Whitewater.
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Re: The Missing Irish Hiker--Family asks for help ...

Postby bretpct » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:52 pm

It's too bad that Whitewater sighting doesn't seem reliable. He must have kept to himself pretty well if nobody has come forward with any possible sightings. Especially being Irish and having an accent, you'd think someone would be able to recall hiking with him.

I went by Paradise Valley Cafe a month or two ago, and the owner there said he came in to eat.

If he was dead set on avoiding snow, It would have been pretty easy to hitch out of Idyllwild.
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Re: The Missing Irish Hiker--Family asks for help ...

Postby guest » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:08 am

Hi friends,
Yes, another sad deal, but wilderness has it's challenges, one reason we go there I think.
My friends, who live in Snow Creek Village are listed Trail Angels I believe, and she mentioned he didn't sign in at there place. There's not always someone there to greet thru-hikers, but the hikers can use their outdoor shower, shaded area, and many times trail magic like drinks & fruit, but I doubt everyone signs in.
This was the 1st year Ziggy & The Bear did not host hundreds of thru-hikers at their home in Whitewater, a bit north of the 10 frwy & very close to the PCT, so no help there, unfortunately. This is about 8 miles before Whitewater Preserve.
This doesn't mean he didn't make it that far.
The DWA camera that is directed at the PCT, just as it connects with the 1 mile paved rd. section, should be able to get a decent shot of thru-hikers, but who knows how long they may store that old footage.
The trail was overgrown high up, north of Fuller Ridge from what I heard, making the potential of losing the trail, a bit more possible.
As Perry & others mentioned, there was lots of snow & ice in April & May, high up this year.

Let's hope for closure for the family, ss
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Re: The Missing Irish Hiker--Family asks for help ...

Postby Perry » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:23 pm

Looking at a topo map, I'm thinking the easiest way to search the chutes of Fuller Ridge is with binoculars or a camera with telephoto lens.
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=33.82558,-11 ... california
We can't assume that he followed the trail exactly because of snow coverage, so there's a lot of potential area.

I'm guessing the south-facing slopes (including near Strawberry Cienega) did not have enough snow coverage April 7-10 to present a slipping hazard? Maybe somebody remembers or has an opinion on that.

The closest historical weather data I can get is Palm Springs (500 feet elevation):
https://www.wunderground.com/history/ai ... .wmo=99999
No precipitation in PS, so it probably wasn't total whiteout conditions on the mountain, unlikely to be similar to the Donovan case. But the mountain can be quite different than the desert, so fog or light snow/rain could have been possible. GPS is more common these days. I don't know if he carried one.
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Re: The Missing Irish Hiker--Family asks for help ...

Postby GoPlayer » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:09 pm

This thread reminded me of reading about somebody falling in the Fuller Ridge area around beginning of April. A quick google search came up with several reports about it. Turns out it was about 2 weeks before the last sighting of the missing hiker, close enough in time for conditions to still be similar in the area:
The hikers blog: http://theramblingnews.blogspot.com/2017/04/rattlesnakes-to-blizzards.html
The hiker warning others on a PCT forum: https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/124075-Fuller-Ridge-Mile-178-190

A lot of hikers use social media to chronicle their PCT adventure on blogs, youtube, instagram, facebook, etc. That could be a possible source for finding clues about a missing hiker. He might be mentioned or appear in a photo.
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Re: The Missing Irish Hiker--Family asks for help ...

Postby cynthia23 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:08 pm

Perry, does the facebook admin know they should follow along on this thread? There are many useful ideas here to be followed up on.
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