Missing friend in Mammoth Lakes area


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Mountain climber
pac northwest
Sep 8, 2013 - 10:50pm PT
I've seen a Verizon document that describes handing of law enforcement requests: apparently, there's a centralized LE department in Verizon that handles all warrants, surveillance requests, etc. They basically say that they can provide location info for "recent" text messages, and location for completed calls (which is stored for 1 year). They have sample reports for calls and texts they would provide upon warrant in that document: cell, sector and access distance are provided for calls (similar to what's in the report posted here, only here it was converted into geolocation). Their text message sample report does not contain sector or cell id... Seems like any warrant/subpoena on VZ records would be handled by the same department, that would, basically, provide the same, quite basic, information as seen by now. :(

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Sep 8, 2013 - 10:59pm PT
Chief Watson..Whatever you do...Don't accept any Persons of the Year awards...RJ
Todd Quinn

Trad climber
Oceanside, CA
Sep 9, 2013 - 01:25am PT
I camped at Shady Rest Campsite #161 next to Mattís spot #164. This is what I learned.

The campground is the least respected site in all of Mammoth.
It was clean, good bathrooms no shower.
The noise and light makes it difficult to sleep.
Camp host is on point in making sure you pay. Camp host is up early.
Mattís Site #164 had a water faucet in front of his campsite. Many visitors would have met Matt because of this.
No information board, only rules and where to pay.
Best showers are across the street at RV Park. Matt would have showered there. Worker believed they recognized Matt.

Where I went to post new flyers

Shell Gas
Coffee Shop (forgot name)
Ski lodge Main and Canyon
Starbucks, In the Village
Red Meadows Resort
Agnew Meadow trailhead
Devils Postpile

Where I Searched and learned.

Distance from Shady Rest Campsite to Agnew Trail is too far for Matt to do that morning. Hitch hiking before seven oíclock shuttle bus makes little sense. Everything is suggesting Matt left that night to Agnew Trail head to get the early start he needed for (possable) Mount Ritter. I met some solid climbers at the climb shop. One climber Scott told me he free solo Mount Banner in one day. We open the Sierra Book and the same pages where torn free from the book. Scott told me it was a 5.7ish route North Face the book was unhelpful for climbers because it is not a guide book. The book Matt was using is compiled information the author put together. It is a poor example for any climber to use. I felt embarrass not knowing that. Scott stated, "Matt only hope for Ritter was to leave the night before and start early at Agnew Trail. Any gear Matt may have had would have been hung in a tree."

Searched: Shady Rest Campground. Entire area has been searched.
Searched: The start of Agnew Trail head for any hung gear or anything left on the ground. Talked with many hikers entering the area to look for any evidence of Matt and gear.

Searched: the road leading to Agnew Trail steep embankment along road. Trail looks beautiful many people walk solo to the lakes to meet up with other groups. Met no climbers.

Learned: Agnew Trail has no message board. People leave notes on rocks.
Learned: Cell phone works at start of trail. (only) no cell range at Devils Postpile.
Learned: Water creak is at the beginning of the trail.

In conclusion, Iím glad I went to Mammoth my soul feels rested. It was weird to stay at Shady Rest. I was uncomfortable for many reasons that is why I bailed to Twin Lakes. But I did meet an Alpine team from Prescott Arizona. They where training with some students. By chance they where deciding to head to Mount Ritter. I suggested if they did decide Ritter to please report back Supertopo or Facebook. My point is the power of asking goes far. Hikers entering at Agnew trail all gathered around me to listen about Mattís story. Climbing community is experiencing difficult climbing accidents this year and it hard to process the details. Matt is no different we need details!


Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Sep 9, 2013 - 03:42am PT
"Scott stated, "Matt only hope for Ritter was to leave the night before and start early at Agnew Trail."

I totally disagree. Based on my hiking speed, Matt doing Ritter from the Agnew Meadows trailhead would have taken him 12 to 13 hours round trip. Even if he took the first shuttle down, he would have been out with daylight to spare.

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Sep 9, 2013 - 07:33am PT
I also agree with Cragman about the start time, especially since no bivy gear is missing. This assumes his climbing partners & family are certain on his gear inventory. I personally think he took the shuttle. He would likely have been headed to a 3rd class route, not a more technical line that would have needed a pre-dawn start & would not solo without a helmet.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
Sep 9, 2013 - 09:43am PT
Any gear Matt may have had would have been hung in a tree."


Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 9, 2013 - 10:09am PT
Nicely done!

Matt doing Ritter from the Agnew Meadows trailhead would have taken him 12 to 13 hours round trip. Even if he took the first shuttle down, he would have been out with daylight to spare
I independently came up with similar numbers.

As for the southern Minarets round trip about 10-12 hours from Devil's Postpile to the easier summits.

Cragman: do you have a round trip estimate from Agnew's Meadow to East North Banner slopes? I haven't been up that way so won't make a guess. There were still impressive ice fields up there in late August (per the flickr photos I referenced yesterday).

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 9, 2013 - 11:39am PT
Todd, thanks for everything you did on your trip to Mammoth Lakes -- searching, putting up flyers -- and thanks for your helpful report.

Even if Secor isn't everything, it appears to have been Matt's starting point, so I'm glad you've familiarized yourself with it!

Social climber
Escondido CA
Sep 9, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
Todd, Ditto!

Thank you for your searching, speaking with people, putting up posters, and for sharing what you learned!


Los Angeles
Sep 9, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
Does anyone know if Matt happens to have rescue insurance. There are a few places to purchase it from, such as American Alpine Club membership, Global Rescue Inc., or GEOS Alliance. It would be used to cover SAR costs. Considering how much he climbed, I thought it might be a possibility.

Mountain climber
Sep 9, 2013 - 01:33pm PT
At this point, there's nothing that rescue insurance would do. The agencies officially responsible for searching for Matt do not bill for their efforts. Rescue insurance isn't going to pay unofficial 3rd parties to ground pound the wilderness in an open-ended search for Matt, as 1) this isn't what it's intended for and 2) an open-ended, paid search would likely spell financial ruin for such funds. Even if there were money available to pay searchers, anyone doing so would have to go through much of the same red tape that guiding companies do, since they'd also be running a high-liability commercial enterprise on public land.

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 9, 2013 - 01:44pm PT
Ok, good to know. Thanks!

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Sep 9, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
Todd...did you attend self high...?
Todd Quinn

Trad climber
Oceanside, CA
Sep 9, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
Thank you everyone. Cragman the testimony Scott gave me was helpful because thatís what local climbers do. They get there the night before. As long as you agree it is Agnew trail as the start? For all to agree?

crankster, the gear has bothered me from day one. Every climber has secondary gear I would rather not debate this, because it goes no where with non climbers. One example is the Black Diamond Alpine harness Matt is wearing in a picture. He had two harnesses.

10b4me, sorry let me explain. At the start at Agnew trail there is no bulletin board. Hikers leave paper notes on top of bigger rocks to notify where they went or if they took the shuttle back.

Wade Icey, Once again sorry. Local climbers hang their gear in the trees to keep squirrels from destroying gear. I wasnít thinking this way until I heard a local talk about it.

HighTraverse thank you, AAC Jeff Deikis got back to me. He has put the call out to members to be on the lookout Matt. Very cool, he further explained AAC member benefits do not cover missing hikers. Even if Matt was a Member they would be limited on what they could do?

Mattyj, I fly under The Good Samaritan Law. Volunteers, industry, community, Alpine schools, anyone willing to help should be encouraged to. But I do get your point. Anyone is free to PM me.


Social climber
Northampton, PA
Sep 9, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
Thanks Todd!

I've posted a Plea to Facebook for locals and/or hikers/climbers to help us look before snow falls. I've gotten a few responses but I could use some help directing them WHERE to search.

So far, people that could do a couple miles in and that's it. Hey, I'll take it. Please help me determine some easier routes to cross off our map.

If possible, establishing maybe some easy, middle, and tougher/longer routes would help as volunteers come forward.

Social climber
Sep 9, 2013 - 05:41pm PT

Thank you from the east coast! You have no idea how much it means to everyone here who can not get to Yosemite to help.


Our school has suffered another tragic loss today. A 46 year old middle school teacher died yesterday, leaving behind 3 children and her husband. Our community is in a state of shock. The students are still hopeful Matt will return and are mourning the loss of one of their favorite middle school teachers.

Anything anyone can do means so much:) All of you are our only hope in finding Matt.


Social climber
Northampton, PA
Sep 9, 2013 - 05:50pm PT
So sorry Supermama; had not seen nothing on the news. So sad; will say a prayer for the family.

Social climber
Escondido CA
Sep 9, 2013 - 05:59pm PT
Does the Appalachian Mountain Club have any connections or people in Mammoth Lakes? Have they been contacted? Maybe because Matt grew up in the shadows of the Appalachians....(Blue Mountains my father used to call them) they would help.

Also - was Anderson Cooper ever contacted?

Can the Bethlehem PA police help expedite the search process?

And, my last idea of the day, has Robert Redford been contacted??


Social climber
Sep 9, 2013 - 06:07pm PT
Perhaps some of the groups that can help search are those listed on page 34 of the Secor book. I "think" I may have emailed you these pages, if not let me know and I can scan and send.

Anyway to come up with a list and label by effort?


Social climber
Northampton, PA
Sep 9, 2013 - 06:07pm PT
Did not reach out o Applalachian club. can certainly give it a go.

Don't think we tried Anderson Cooper; hounded Nancy Grace to no avail.

I'm in process of opening the official missing persons case in PA; should know hotly what they can/cannot do for us.

No on Robert Redford.
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