National park officials are seeking the public’s help in finding a hiker who has been missing for nearly a week.
Robert Woodie, 74, of Manhattan Beach was reported missing after he failed to return from a four-day backpacking trip in Kings Canyon National Park last week. Authorities said his intended route may have been from South Lake, outside of Bishop, to the park via Bishop Pass. His trek began on Oct 13.
A check-in message received from his satellite message device shows Woodie was possibly in the area of Barrett Lakes on Oct 15. Cold weather hit the area around that time, officials said, with snow falling in some areas above 10,500 feet. Overnight temperatures were below freezing.
Park officials have asked that any hiker who was in the search area after Oct. 13 to reach out with information.
“Even if they do not think they saw Mr. Woodie, information about where he wasn’t seen is also very important in directing our search efforts,” said Rich Browne, incident commander for the search and rescue operation.
More than 60 park officers and two helicopters are involved in the search, Browne said.
The search area consists of Bishop Pass, Dusy Basin, Barrett Lakes and the John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail for the length of Le Conte Canyon. The trail is a high sierra alpine environment that reaches between 8,000 and 12,000 feet.
Officials said Woodie is an experienced hiker who is familiar with the area. He was possibly carrying a blue shell-type jacket, baseball cap or floppy hat and boots. He also may have been carrying a blue internal frame backpack.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Department and Inyo National Forest are coordinating the search. Yosemite Search and Rescue and Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team are assisting in the operation within Kings Canyon National Park.
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