Missing friend in Mammoth Lakes area


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Ron Minto

Social climber
Bethlehem PA
Jul 17, 2014 - 02:46pm PT
crankster, thanks for answering my question. It's clear now.

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 19, 2014 - 05:46am PT
Really wonderful to spend time with the Greene family this week.

Bob and Tiffany hiked in to Ediza on the anniversary of Matthew's disappearance, so she was able to experience the grandeur of that stunning view of the Range from that spot.

An emotional week, to be sure.....but also one of great value for all.

We search on...

Social climber
Los Angeles
Jul 20, 2014 - 11:19pm PT
With Tiffanys blessing, Im trying to generate more leads by getting photos of pages from summit registers in the Minarets from the time around and after Matt disappeared on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 say, from ~7/12/13 to ~7/31/13.

This is not to see whether Matt signed the registers (for most likely Minarets we know this), but rather to find the names of people who may have seen or interacted with him or who could provide other useful information. People who signed the registers before or on that Wednesday might have spoken with Matt, might have still been camping/climbing in the area, or might have been hiking out when he was hiking in. People signing registers later in the month might have seen some of his gear or noticed something amiss.

SAR has already done this with Ritter and Banner, taking pictures of the relevant pages and trying to reach people who might have seen Matt.

I think the most frequently climbed Minaret is Clyde, so it might be especially helpful to get pictures of the relevant pages from that register, but other registers may also be helpful. So, if you have pictures of pages of Minaret registers within this time period, please send me a message.

Some Minarets dont have registers. Heres a list of the more southerly Minarets, with comments about their summit registers:

The more southerly Minarets, with comments about their summit register...
The more southerly Minarets, with comments about their summit registers.
Credit: LAhiker

And here are the more northerly Minarets:

The more northerly Minarets, with comments about their summit register...
The more northerly Minarets, with comments about their summit registers.
Credit: LAhiker

Some of the info about the registers isn't very recent, so please let me know if there are any errors or things to add. Thanks!

BTW, its great that we have the Minarets lead from the campers -- I hope we get more leads through people seeing the flyers...


Trad climber
Jul 21, 2014 - 07:03am PT
Excellent work, LAhiker.

Boulder climber
Jul 21, 2014 - 09:49pm PT
Was hoping for (usually good) view of Ritter Range from above McCloud Lake today, but cloudy/ bad light (I blame mother nature).
Credit: T H

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 22, 2014 - 03:46pm PT
Ron posted the following very useful info and I want to make some observations:
When Matt said "I'm going to the minarets tomorrow, " to me, means he meant exactly that.
In casual talk this could include Ritter and Banner. I've sometimes meant to include R&B when I've said "Minarets"

Is it possible to traverse the minarets without attempting a peak? For example, can a person move along the area, in a relatively safe way (3rd class), and say "I hiked the minarets"?
unlike crankster I would say yes, depending on how you define traverse and hike. For me, 3d class is "hiking". I'd guess Matt might make the same simplification.

Let's take a loose meaning.
Then with mountain boots and axe one can hike easily from Ediza to Iceberg Lake to Cecile then, over South Notch, all around Amphitheater Lake, around the Southwest side of Adams and even climb Adams, 2d class.
One could continue along the scenic and not so often visited western base all the way to Ritter Pass (not officially named), then back to Ediza. You might want an axe on South Notch and Ritter Pass. I'd carry one.
From what we know of Matt, this would be a big day but not impossible. A fine, moderate finish to an excellent climbing trip. Obviously the entire circuit isn't necessary, one could go outbound till reasonably tired, or watching the clock, and return the same way.
If so, what is the size of the area? Just curious, I understand the terrain and that regardless of the square miles/km the size is not relatively significant.
Better to think in terms of travel hours than miles. See my note above.
For Matt's day out we have to include from one of the trailheads in Devil's Postpile. Most likely the northern Agnew Meadow TH. Two - three hours from TH to Iceberg (northern route) or Cecile (southern route) lakes. More like 2 hours for Matt with a light pack.
Minarets / Ritter-Banner routes that Secor lists as 3d class are candidates for Matt without helmet. I'll make a complete list this week and post it here. (I won't have time tonight or tomorrow)

Another note. We've recently learned of a good climber (can't remember his name just now) falling and breaking his leg descending Goddard. Not a difficult route. A misstep in big talus or above a moat can quickly become a serious problem when alone. We don't need to be even on 3d class terrain to come to grief.

Trad climber
Jul 22, 2014 - 05:27pm PT
I don't think that's an unreasonable scenario, HT. Certainly in the realm of possibility given all that is known. It doesn't change the potential search area much, which is basically the entire Ritter/Banner/Minarets region.

Sure wish I could ask him, "Hey, Matt, why'd you leave your helmet behind?" (Among some other very obvious questions)

some eastside hovel
Jul 22, 2014 - 05:35pm PT
Not to be a stickler Biotch, but it's Mcleod Lake.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Jul 22, 2014 - 05:46pm PT
&-7 Matt did the Ruegeluth , the 11th he did Clyde. Prime suspicions for me now settle with Ken and Micheal Minarets. Or even Eichorn area.

edit: (sigh) or Dyer, or Banner or~~or....

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Jul 22, 2014 - 09:59pm PT
Capt...it's McLoud when it's overcast...rj

some eastside hovel
Jul 22, 2014 - 10:10pm PT
RJ-Yeah,looks like BIOTCHs pic is in Mcloud conditions. :-)

Boulder climber
Jul 22, 2014 - 10:52pm PT
Thanks Capt. It's been so long since I refer to maps, or signage I plum forgot.

Social climber
Northampton, PA
Jul 23, 2014 - 08:55am PT
Here's a panorama I took of the mountain range on the anniversary of Matt's disappearance; hiked with my dad up to Ediza.

View of Minarets from Ediza
View of Minarets from Ediza
Credit: tdg119

Trad climber
Fresno, CA
Jul 23, 2014 - 11:54am PT
I frequently climb at Shuteye and The Balls areas to the west of the Minarets. Has anyone tried looking on the west side of the Minarets for signs of Matt? I realize that it is highly unlikely the he could have been climbing on that side since he would have had to climb over to the west side, but if he was on a ridge when something happened, there may be evidence on the west side. Would someone be able to easily approach the west side from the east where he was staying?

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 23, 2014 - 07:45pm PT
Climberdude....yes, we will be searching the western side of the range more and more as this season goes on.

Social climber
Los Angeles
Aug 1, 2014 - 10:56am PT
Just a reminder -- if you happen to be climbing any Minarets during this brief break from the thunderstorms/smoke/whatever, in addition to being on the lookout for signs of Matt, please photograph any summit register pages with entries from between ~7/12/13 and 7/31/13. That will help us try to reach people who might have seen or spoken with Matt before he disappeared on 7/17/13 or who might have noticed some of his gear or something else amiss afterward.

Note that Matt climbed Clyde Minaret and signed its summit register on 7/11/13 and that he climbed Riegelhuth Minaret on 7/8/13 (no register). Even though he probably didn't climb Clyde again, we're very interested in the pages from that Minaret, because more people climb it than the other Minarets.

Not all of the Minarets have summit registers -- here's my earlier post with details about the summit registers of various Minarets.

In addition to Clyde, I'd be most interested in pages from registers on Kehrlein, Ken (if it still has a register which is questionable), and Starr (if it has a register which is doubtful -- at one point it had a plastic tub under a rock). But if it's safe/convenient, please photograph those pages of the register of any Minaret you climb.

If you take any such pictures, please let me know.


Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Aug 11, 2014 - 12:48pm PT
Keep in mind that low snow years and late season are an excellent time to find the missing. we just located one of our missing from last year:



Sep 15, 2014 - 04:22pm PT
Put together a search team consisting of fellow HST members
from 9/10-9/14, lots of ground covered, and still barely touched
the surface.
Areas checked: Kehrlein-Pridham Notch, South Notch, North Notch,
Southeast Glacier, also Clyde Variation, Ritter/Banner Saddle,
The Gap, Ritter Pass, Col between Ritter and Gap, Upper Dyke
Lakes area on the eastern side, area around Minaret Lake/Cecile/
Iceberg Lakes, Glacier on the northern side of Banner, Catherine
Lake/Glacier, and Ritter Lakes, including western side of Ritter.

Glaciers were horrendous, blue ice, crampons barely make a dent.
Lots of loose rock from Ritter on down, class 2, 3, and 4, with
rock that crumbled in your hand, very loose, and very steep talus.
Did not find any evidence, but everyone in our group (6) came
out safely.
Definitely not recommended for anyone without solid route finding,
and climbing(glacier/ice included in some areas)experience, really
easy to get over your head quickly.

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 15, 2014 - 11:40pm PT
Maverick, thank you to you and your intrepid group for searching for signs of Matt in all those areas! Though no search can be definitive, you covered a whole lot of ground.

It sounds like conditions were daunting -- I'm so glad you came back safe.


Trad climber
Sep 16, 2014 - 06:53am PT
Great work, maverick.
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