Missing friend in Mammoth Lakes area


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May 24, 2015 - 01:22pm PT

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.


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.


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.

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

Trad climber
Spring Tx
Jun 10, 2015 - 08:37pm PT
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.

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.


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

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


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

Hugs to his family and friends


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.

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.

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

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

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.

Social climber
Northampton, PA
Jul 24, 2015 - 10:04am PT
Ahh, that poster gave us particular issues putting it up - about a year ago on the dot. Was the tape holding better on the others, I hope? I don't want them becoming litter in landscape.

Thanks everyone who continues to think of us. We do follow along, we're just the quiet type.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jul 25, 2015 - 06:15pm PT
Thanks Cragman and everyone else involved.

Mammoth Lakes, CA
Jul 28, 2015 - 12:33am PT
Was the tape holding better on the others, I hope?

Yeah, the others look great. Someone must have put up new ones, I am imagining around the 17th, because they did not look weathered at all. The poster in the pic I showed looked like it was in a plastic protector sleeve that fell apart. I didn't notice any litter from tape or anything.

On a side note, this forest is a nice place for solitude for me, but I always can't help but feel the secrets that it holds. Matt's case being the most recent and the one that I am interested in seeing resolved, but also Steve Fosset's plane crash (found), and the slew of skiers and boarders that have gone missing in the Red's Meadow Valley (most lived to tell their story, one didn't).
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