Missing friend in Mammoth Lakes area

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Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
May 23, 2015 - 04:28pm PT
Spring is finally here...and so is the weather!!!

My first search of the year has been postponed now TWICE due to snow and rain this month....such a WEIRD year this has been!

Based on the forecast, I'm now hoping for week after next.

The following pic taken minutes ago...yet ANOTHER cloudburst!

Credit: Cragman
T H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
May 23, 2015 - 09:35pm PT
I had a distant goal of ascending Blue Crag Coulior this season to have look.
crankster

Trad climber
May 24, 2015 - 06:52am PT
You'd be the one to ask, cragman...any information in the last year that would steer you away from the Ritter/Banner area? I have a climb of Ritter planned this summer. It's always seemed liked the most likely choice to me. What a gift to the family it would be to bring closure.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
May 24, 2015 - 07:00am PT
crankster....in answer to your question...no. I am still sticking with this region, and in particular, the notch between Ritter and Banner...and more specifically, the gully on the west side that leads down to Catherine Lakes.

I will spend my efforts this summer in this region, as it is vast, complicated, and dangerous....it will take time.

Glad to hear you are headed in to the region.....which line on Ritter do you plan on?
crankster

Trad climber
May 24, 2015 - 07:06am PT
SE Glacier. I've always thought that he was looking to tag Ritter and get back, get his car and head to CO.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
May 24, 2015 - 08:51am PT
Ok, crankster....that's an enjoyable hike. We scoured that side pretty well, but more eyes in there would be great!

The more I've come to know Matthew, the more I am convinced his intention was to tag Ritter and Banner on that day....and the bulletproof ice on the north face of Ritter is a HUGE red flag for me.

Let us know when you're heading in....
canyoncat

Social climber
SoCal
May 24, 2015 - 09:26am PT
Safe journeys, and best wishes for bringing him home.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
May 24, 2015 - 11:50am PT
Thanks, canyoncat....
Gene

climber
May 24, 2015 - 01:22pm PT
Dean,

There is something so alluring about the Catherine Lake side of Ritter and Banner. It's a good place to search. Wish I could join you. Be safe.

Gene
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
May 24, 2015 - 02:29pm PT
Thanks, Gene...and you are right. That spot is a land of extremes...bitterly cold in the morning....blazing hot in the afternoon....and lots of heads up terrain.

If you can find some time...I'd love to have your company, my friend.

Cheers,
Dean
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
May 25, 2015 - 02:34pm PT
Hello there Dean.
I expect to be sufficiently rehabilitated by late June/early July for a Minarets trip to look for Matthew. I still think of him often and would like to help his family and friends. Keep in touch.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
May 25, 2015 - 03:17pm PT
Thanks Freddo....would love to have ya!!!
Alpineholydog

Trad climber
Spring Tx
Jun 10, 2015 - 08:37pm PT
Cragman.
Matthew signed summit logs I believe I read. If so he should have signed Ritter or Banner if he bagged them. The east approach to saddle is well traveled these 2 yrs without sign. The proper chute to ascend Ritter can be confused either on way up or down. Scanning the northwest slope of Ritter seems reasonable. The glacier down to Lake Catherine is only occasionally hiked but not devoid of traffic. It would seem that someone would have spotted some gear over there. Matthew is either up on that slope of Ritter or in a similar area over on Minirets. Pretty hard to mess up Banner as there is a mildly difficult route find but correctable and not treacherous. Weather clear that day. Might have gotten turned around a bit on decsent but why no summit log signed. Have summit loggers from that day all been contacted fro Ritter and Banner? Just feels like a slight wrong turn w a fall.
Sorry if this all so obvious.
maverick01

climber
Jun 26, 2015 - 01:39pm PT


Please read the following link: http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12843

Also the search in the Minarets for evidence, on 9/10-9/15, consisting of members from several forums, is a go, unless of course Dean or someone else
finds something by then.

T H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
Jun 30, 2015 - 11:54pm PT
Heard about some incident at Minaret Falls today on my scanner, but no details.
SplitPants

Social climber
LA
Jul 17, 2015 - 06:07am PT

Bump

Thinking of Matt. It has been 2 years now:(

Hugs to his family and friends


Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 17, 2015 - 06:23am PT
Will be heading back in when this thunderstorm pattern settles.

Thanks for the bump, Brooke....

Thoughts of Matt's family and friends today.
pacarockhound

Social climber
Escondido CA
Jul 17, 2015 - 05:48pm PT
Maverick 101,

That September outing sounds good, as does all the other searches.

Thank you all for continuting the search. I hope to make it to Mammoth myself this autumn at some point and will do what I can.

My heart goes out to Tiffany, family and friends.
DataJunkie

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Jul 23, 2015 - 12:22am PT
@Cragman

I am still sticking with this region, and in particular, the notch between Ritter and Banner...and more specifically, the gully on the west side that leads down to Catherine Lakes.

I remember earlier in the thread you thought Matt may have tried Michael Minaret. Out of curiosity, what changed your mind?

Today I "hiked" to the end of the Agnew Meadows Campground road while looking for the Wildflower Loop (which I finally found). I was happy to see new posters in this area near PCT and the one below, which was at the beginning of an unmarked trail that I think leads to Ediza or Shadow. These posters seem to be new, which is good considering the wind, rain, snow. I also saw some at Red's Meadow, and I think a few in town.

Credit: DataJunkie
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 23, 2015 - 08:39am PT
DataJunkie....thanks for your note and observations....I hope this will answer your question...

Searches like this one, with so little fact to go on, are really daunting. They are the ultimate mystery, and I approach it far different than the typical search.

Because we really do not know where Matthew went, in my opinion, the BEST information we have.....is Matthew himself.

Over the course of the two years that Matthew has been gone from us, I've learned SO much about him. This is a daily thing for me...even when I am not searching. Through his family and friends, I have had the pleasure of discovering more and more about the man that he was.....and have learned about his thought process.

Applying these insights to the search has led me to shape the scope of my search. That, along with some personal 'feelings' that I have felt within my own spirit over the course of being in the Ritter Range...those things have me focused on the present search zone.

I say "present" because, as I stated above.....these kinds of searches evolve as more information comes in, or new insights into Matthew emerge.

It's a real process...at times a very discouraging one. But it's something I simply feel called to do. To not do it, would destroy me.
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