Missing friend in Mammoth Lakes area

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Messages 1681 - 1700 of total 2324 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Sep 6, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
My thoughts on potential problems on the glaciers for Matthew are as follows...

Where he would likely have had a problem, is with the bergschrunds. They are gaping this year, and trying to navigate them with only 1 axe can REALLY be treacherous.

But Matthew (being a math guy) seems to me to be a calculated person, making me of the opinion that he would not have messed with the bergschrund.

Again, I go back to the whole moving fast thing.....the talus fields, the cliff bands covered in loose talus and scree.....gullies running with meltwater....this is where my red flags go up, and lead me to believe that he likely suffered an injury that rendered him immobile.

Unfortunately, as compared to the glaciers (and how small they are this year) the talus fields and exposed cliffs are SO vast.....
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Sep 6, 2013 - 10:26pm PT
Does anyone else here find it in the slightest bit peculiar that a person is up before 6am and texting a person who is 2000 miles away, yet has no recalection on what was said or why he was texting Matt at 3:30 in the morning PST?

Odd, yes. But not unbelievable. I've learned that some people really do have memories that bad.
monolith

climber
SF bay area
Sep 6, 2013 - 10:29pm PT
The text could have been sent shortly after Matt turned off his phone the night before, then finally delivered when the phone went back on.
CyDuke

climber
Sep 6, 2013 - 11:07pm PT
Has it ever been determined what time the sender of the 2:53am text sent the text? I know he cannot remember what he said, but does he recall what time he sent it? Or can he check his phone records. On his end, it may show when he sent it, not when Matt received it.

It could be important - because maybe the message was sent at 5:53am PA time which is not unreasonable for someone that might be up getting ready for work. He may have assumed Matt's phone would be off but would get the message when he turned the phone on. If this is the case, then maybe Matt fell asleep prior to turning his phone off and got the message in real time. He could have shut the phone off at that point. And that could make a difference in the assumption that he got up early either for a ride or a long day somewhere on foot.
CyDuke

climber
Sep 6, 2013 - 11:21pm PT
If he still got his account he can see the time he sent that message.

He could probably even call his provider and get the info. They probably won't have the content of text, but they should be able to give the time it was sent. Might be important to know.
LAhiker

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 6, 2013 - 11:25pm PT
Cyduke and Tioga,

Interesting speculations. Earlier in the thread, Tiffany said:

Text @ 2:53 am most likely one from previous night but Matt's phone was off so when he turned it on he rec'd it. Best guess is he'd complained about ppl packing early am (4am) and it waking him up; maybe the case?! The last text was from an older fellow from a climbing gym here in PA; he can't remember what it was but probably insignificant and not warranting a response.

Jill, John, Tiffany, Ron:

Do you happen to know whether Matt wore a watch and/or used an alarm when on climbing trips?
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Sep 7, 2013 - 12:17am PT
Sounds like was expecting 3am call, possibly?

I wouldn't conclude this...

When camping, I often find myself awak in the middle of the night, and out of boredom or curiosity turn the phone on to check email, check the weather forecast, or whatever. A lot of spots on the East Side have cellular data reception.
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Sep 7, 2013 - 12:33am PT
He could have been checking voicemail, then.

Maybe I missed this upthread... Smartphones are not the only phones with internet capability. My old clamshell dumb phone had limited internet capability, and I could check my email on it if I had configured it that way.

My only point being that it's still not conclusive that he was expecting a phone call at 3am based solely on the fact that he turned his phone on...

Maybe he was, but I don't think it's a given.
kenish

Gym climber
Orange County, CA
Sep 7, 2013 - 01:50am PT
tdg119- Kenish where are you getting these logs. The info I have doesnt show text locations

The 253am text was north of a tower on Mammoth Mtn. This info is stated in the very original post...I also recall some Verizon info posted to a different website before this thread started, and it showed the north direction.

If that is indeed true, it indicates the Main Lodge area. (The campground is east of Mammoth Mtn.) FYI, I have a smartphone on Verizon. Coverage in town and anywhere on the front side of the ski area (north of the peak) is "3 bars" or better. (Texts are transmitted with cellular voice data, and not on the 3G/4G signal).
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Sep 7, 2013 - 02:13am PT
doesn't look like he was waiting for important/urgent voicemail either, as when there's no new voicemail alert, a person will likely still call and check voicemail, just to be sure

Well, I don't dial in to check voicemail when there's no alert, and can't imagine doing so unless it's a call that's extraordinarily important... I don't even know how to do that...

Maybe someone who knows Matt can give info on his tendencies in this regard.
onyourleft

climber
Smog Angeles
Sep 7, 2013 - 02:44am PT
Alpineholydog wrote:
Just Returned from Trip through Mammoth. We took Mammoth Taxi up to Agnew Meadows and again noticed how very narrow the road from Mineret Summit to Agnew Meadows is. It would be best searched by hiking and examining the downhill side closely. Lots of brush that could easily obscure things. I think if he hiked to Agnew he had to take this road.

The following are some cell phone pictures taken on my (slow) road bike ride from Mammoth to Red's Meadow and back on Saturday, 8/31:

Matthew's Flyer on the Minaret Vista Ranger Kiosk as one enters the ro...
Matthew's Flyer on the Minaret Vista Ranger Kiosk as one enters the road down to Agnew Meadows
Credit: onyourleft

Turnoff to Agnew Meadows
Turnoff to Agnew Meadows
Credit: onyourleft

Road heading back towards Minaret Vista from Agnew Meadows turnoff. <br/>
...
Road heading back towards Minaret Vista from Agnew Meadows turnoff.
Downhill side on right. If Matt were hit and thrown off the road, presumably he would have fallen to camera right, the downslope side
Credit: onyourleft

Downslope side showing underbrush and fallen trees adjacent to road
Downslope side showing underbrush and fallen trees adjacent to road
Credit: onyourleft

A couple of years back, there was a catastrophic wind event that blew ...
A couple of years back, there was a catastrophic wind event that blew down thousands of trees on the western slopes of the canyon near Red's Meadow. It appears the USFS has done a considerable effort of clearing the downed trees.
Credit: onyourleft

Another view adjacent to the road.  The frequent watercourses would sh...
Another view adjacent to the road. The frequent watercourses would show some low vegetation, but rarely was the vegetation more than about a meter tall. I did not see any evidence of anything non-natural.
Credit: onyourleft

More cleared brush and downed trees.  This area is approximately 2/3 o...
More cleared brush and downed trees. This area is approximately 2/3 of the distance from Agnew Meadows to the Minaret Summit Ranger Kiosk
Credit: onyourleft

The Ritter Range on the Western Skyline from near the kiosk <br/>
Once aga...
The Ritter Range on the Western Skyline from near the kiosk
Once again, the area nearest to the road surface was surprisingly free of underbrush.
Credit: onyourleft
LAhiker

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 7, 2013 - 02:50am PT
Kenish, as far as I know, no location was provided for the text message, or for any text message. The "top of Mammoth Mountain" location -- later determined by SAR to be more like in the direction of Mammoth Mountain, perhaps at the Main Lodge -- was for when Matt called the repair shop at 4:29pm and 4:35pm the previous afternoon (7/16). I think there was some initial confusion about this here...

Split Pants posted:

This is the call/text detail I have for the 16th and 17th (Tiffany let me know if I copy/pasted something wrong).

7/16 11:12 AM EDT / 8:12 AM PDT 1 Peak -- (voicemail)
7/16 6:00 PM EDT / 3:00 PM PDT Text Sent
7/16 6:06 PM EDT / 3:06 PM PDT 24 Peak -- (parents)
From 8:12 AM to 3:06 PM cell phone registered:
Lat 37.638167 Lon -118.961611, 1601 Meridian Blvd, Mammoth Lakes, Ca.
Directly south of the library. Directly north a mile or two from where Matt was camping.

7/16 7:29 PM EDT / 4:29 PM PDT 1 Peak -- (repair shop)
7/16 7:35 PM EDT / 4:35 PM DPT 2 Peak -- (repair shop)
From 4:29 PM to 4:35 PM cell phone registered:
Lat 37.630528 Lon -119.033078, 5920 Minaret Rd, Mammoth Lakes, Ca, top of Mammoth Mtn. After examination/discussing with SAR and looking at the Azimuth (deg) per the ping, it was determined Matt "possibly" called from the Main Lodge or anywhere in that direction.

This is the last phone call from Matt’s phone (per MLPD no more pings after the 16th of July at 4:35 pm)

7/16 7:40 PM EDT / 4:40 PM PDT Text Sent
7/16 8:57 PM EDT / 5:57 PM PDT Text Received
7/16 9:13 PM EDT / 6:13 PM PDT Text Sent
7/16 10:38 PM EDT / 7:38 PM PDT Text Received
7/16 10:52 PM EDT / 7:52 PM PDT Text Received
7/16 11:09 PM EDT / 8:09 PM PDT Text Sent
7/16 11:34 PM EDT / 8:34 PM PDT Text Received

Per MLPD Verizon re: text message retrieval. Verizon only holds that information for about 3 to 4 days.
Per Verizon too much time has passed by.


July 17th (Wednesday)
07/17 5:53 AM EDT / 2:53 AM PDT Text Received

Family traced who sent that last txt message and made contact but unfortunately the individual does not remember what he'd said and it's no longer on his phone.

Per MLPD: 2:48 pm, July 17, 2013, 39 Pinecrest, Mammoth Lakes, Ca, Verizon building and tower.This address is the main Verizon building/tower in Mammoth Lakes. There is no outbound phone call activity after the 16th of July, as indicated on my Verizon emergency request re: Greene’s cell phone, his phone was turned off/powered off.
The 2:48 pm is not a ping, because there is no Lat & Lon indicated.

Per MLPD: Verizon nor any other cellular service provider ping text, it pings the telephone when the telephone is on, not turned off.
Sonoma Jack

Social climber
Sonoma, ca
Sep 7, 2013 - 05:46am PT
"When camping, I often find myself awak in the middle of the night, and out of boredom or curiosity turn the phone on to check email, check the weather forecast, or whatever. A lot of spots on the East Side have cellular data reception."

Yes, true, but as duly stated, Matt had no history, whatsoever, of doing anything like this. You pull a month of records, you would think you would see some kind of pattern. His pattern was, apparently that of being sound asleep at 3am. The cell call here is peculiar, and I'm in no way implying some sort of foul play, as that just doesn't seem likely.
LAhiker

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 7, 2013 - 11:10am PT
Per MLPD: 2:48 pm, July 17, 2013, 39 Pinecrest, Mammoth Lakes, Ca, Verizon building and tower.This address is the main Verizon building/tower in Mammoth Lakes. There is no outbound phone call activity after the 16th of July, as indicated on my Verizon emergency request re: Greene’s cell phone, his phone was turned off/powered off.
The 2:48 pm is not a ping, because there is no Lat & Lon indicated.

So, what does piece of data mean, since it's not a ping?

Tioga, forgive me if I'm just rehashing stuff you know, but as I understand it, a ping means a cell tower sends a signal to a phone and the phone responds. I gather that a cell phone provider can find the location of a cell phone in two ways. If the phone has GPS capability, it uses that to determine where the phone is. If the phone doesn't have GPS, the location of the phone can sometimes be determined by triangulation -- by measuring the relative strength of the cell phone's response to several cell phone towers. (I think we figured out that Matt's phone didn't have GPS but am not sure. Also, the police say that texts don't involve pings, so the exact location of the phone when it received the 2:53am text can't be determined.)

So I think this piece of data just means that someone tried to call Matt on the 17th at 2:48pm, but his phone was either turned off or out of range. So the "location" was given as the location of the cell phone tower that tried to reach the phone, which was the main Verizon tower in Mammoth Lakes. (Given that Matt often turned of his phone to save battery power and probably also was out of range, I don't regard this as very informative.)

The phone bill also says that that was one of three calls that were made to Matt's phone on the 17th, that all reverted to the main cell phone tower. I'm a little curious about the timing of the other two calls, but they wouldn't provide us with much info -- just other moments at which Matt's phone was off or was out of range.
Sonoma Jack

Social climber
Sonoma, ca
Sep 7, 2013 - 11:38am PT
I'll ad just a couple of observations. My son and brother were hiking the JMT, and were taking a two day break in Mammoth on July 16-17, so this story peaked our curiosity, and I've been following it. Based upon the information collected so far, I believe that the 3am phone Check indicates that Matt was indeed set to travel to a far off destination, which could have lasted more than one day. It seems he knew his car would not be ready until later in the day, or even possibly the following day. He had no job of obligations that put him on a tight schedule. If memory serves, he didn't give his friends an exact ETA on when he'd meet up, but an approximation.

When I picked my son up in Merced after his hike, at the Amtrak Depot, he was with a group of foreign hikers from Chili he befriended in Mammoth. We had a brief conversation in Spanish after my son introduced them. I found it interesting that the highlight of their trip, and their main objective was to summit Mt. Whitney. I'm not saying that this was Matt's plan, but I would think Whitney would be high on the list of foreigner, or East Coast visitor to the high Sierras. It is a destination of many an outside visitor. He could have received a ride to Lone Pine from one of these foreign tourist who were picking up a partner hiking Whitney. the following day, they leave the country, have no clue that he's missing. One other question you might need to ask: Was Matt first and foremost a backpacker/hiker, who also enjoyed climbing, of was he a climber who hiked as a means to achieve his climbing endeavors? The answer to this may help determine his destination. If I were involved in searching for Matt, I would certainly make the drive to Lone Pine and ask around.
LAhiker

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 7, 2013 - 12:10pm PT
Tioga, interesting thought, but the log posted by SplitPants says that the MLPD said that Verizon said that Matt's phone was "turned off/powered off" when the 2:48pm call came in and that there hadn't been a ping. :-(

There are good hypotheses here about Matt's possible objective. But I wish there was something -- some technical info, access to Matt's email accounts, a conversation someone had -- that could narrow things down!
WBraun

climber
Sep 7, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
Yes you need something concrete.

Unfortunately mounds of speculations remain just that ......
LAhiker

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 7, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
Tioga, you may be right that the phone could have been out of range rather than off. I do think they determined that that the early-morning text was the last actual contact with the phone. (The MLPD summary of the log says that all later incoming calls from July 17th to July 30th reverted to that central Verizon tower in Mammoth Lakes.)

Sonoma Jack, I agree that Matt could have gone further afield if he'd had a ride. From all I've read, he was mostly a climber, though he also did some hiking/running. On the 17th, he didn't have a tent or even a bivvy sack with him, implying he intended to do a day hike. He did have crampons, one ice axe, and Sportiva boots as well as approach shoes, implying that his objective involved snow. (As far as I know, Whitney doesn't have snow in July.)
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 7, 2013 - 01:15pm PT
Back to possible snow/ice climbing within a day's walk of the trailheads.
We should add the East face of The Watchtower.

See Tom Cochrane's aerial photo and climb2ski's 21 August post 7th down on this page
Just seems like a good smaller day objective for a guy in Mammoth with crampons who is waiting for his car to be fixed.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2205815&tn=20

Matt may have intended to just mess around on The Watchtower's large snowfield without making a summit attempt. We know from his activities and 2006 notes that he was attracted to snow and ice.
CyDuke

climber
Sep 7, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
The phone information we have really doesn't provide much in the way of any information on where Matt may have went or where he may be.

I do however believe it is important to find out if the last text message sent to him was at 5:53 am (Eastern time) or if it was sent the night before. This could determine if his phone was already on and he received it in real time or if he did infact turn his phone on at 2:53 am (Pacific time). Either way, it still doesn't indicate where he may have went, but it could indicate that he did get up earlier than usual for a long day somewhere.

There is also alot of assumption being made that he may have gotten a ride. While it's possible, is it really likely at 3am or even up to 4am? And it seems that if had a prearranged ride that early, it also may have been to hike together. No one has come forward as of yet and there is no evidence that he did have a prearranged ride. (No unusual phone numbers on phone bill, no activity on his summitpost message board, no bulletin board notes that we know of). So, based on the lack of evidence of a ride, I think leaving on foot has to be thoroughly examined. Starting at the last known location, which is the campground, is where Matt's steps should be retraced. And based on the assumptions that he went to Banner/Ritter/Minarets, which would be the best route? And would it make sense for him to leave that early and not wait for bus? By this I mean, would leaving on foot put him at the trailhead earlier than the bus? Or was it more important for Matt to just have a "scenic" look on the way to the trailhead so he'd rather leave on foot than wait for the bus? And again, this would be pure speculation (like most everything is), but since there was a lot of concentration, it seems, from the google map, that Matt already spent alot of time hiking/climbing in that direction (west of campground), would he have preferred to go in an opposite direction for a new perspective, perhaps somewhere else that he would get good use of his boots/crampons?

Again, I think the campground has to be the starting point. There are trails that lead off right from the campground that intersect with other ones. Seems those are all easy to hike trails, but there must be some off the well-beaten path trails that would lead to the Ritter/Banner/Minaret area.

I read this on the ST site:
High Sierra Non-Climbing Skills
Technical climbing skills are only a small requirement for High Sierra routes. Routefinding skills, hiking fitness, and general "mountain sense" are just as important. Approaches typically involve at least a few miles of hiking off a main trail. Our High Sierra Climbing guidebook features the most detailed info ever provided for these approaches.

Maybe there is something in the 30 pages of Matt's guide book that could provide insight as to what would be the most likely pathway he used if he headed toward Ritter/Banner. He could be somewhere in between. We don't even know if he ever made it to his destination.
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