Fellow Climber and Friend Missing


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Jul 13, 2014 - 07:48am PT
For those who wanted an update - quite the ordeal. So glad he is still with us.


Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2014 - 07:36am PT
I visited Gregg in the hospital yesterday and he is in good spirits. A true hardman. The Fresno Bee story of his ordeal was told by his mother. Gregg's own story is incredibly way more intense. He crawled down 1,000 to get off the slope of Goddard, then crawled a mile to Davis Lake....with a compound fib/tib fracture....with a bone sticking out of the skin for those not familiar with a compound fracture. He lay for 4 days....with a bone sticking out of his leg. UGH! He used little icicles from the snowpack to clean it to help prevent infection, which it did and doctors say he has a 10-20% chance he'll lose the leg.

He fell and broke his leg on a Saturday and was rescued on Thursday evening. Gregg said that by Friday he would start to crawl out....20 miles back to Florence Lake.

He is thankful for all of the love, thoughts, and prayers from everyone.


Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jul 14, 2014 - 07:46am PT
Every season we lose some of the tribe, It sucks and it's part of this life we have. After several days overdue you start to expect the worst, It's not common for someone to last that long and be found. It's absolutely wonderful when they do.

Super Gnarley. One tough dude. Best wishes for a full recovery and again.. Big props the the SAR folks.

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 14, 2014 - 07:49am PT
Thanks for posting the update, Paul. Gregg did the smart thing....kept his wits about him, and used his head.

Hopefully, he will join the campfire and share his story with us.

Prayers for a quick heal up!

Trad climber
Jul 14, 2014 - 07:55am PT
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Missing Hiker Found In Kings Canyon

On July 3rd, a 33–year-old Clovis, California, man hiked from Florence Lake into the northern part of Kings Canyon National Park with the intent to climb Mt. Goddard. He was expected to return to his vehicle on July 7th, but by July 9th had not returned home. Joint search operations were begun on July 9th with Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

On July 10th, search operations intensified, with six NPS hasty teams, the parks’ contract Type 3 helicopter, Yosemite NP’s Type 2 helicopter, and an NPS liaison assigned to Fresno County.

Searchers reached the summit of Mount Goddard (elevation 13,558) and the peak register was found to have an entry left by the missing man on July 5th. On the evening of July 10th, the final team insertion took place around sunset near Davis Lake (elevation of 11,058), about two miles north of Mt. Goddard.

As the helicopter was on final approach to the landing zone, the man was seen lying on the ground approximately fifty yards away. The search team contacted him and found he had significant trauma to his lower extremities. He said that he had been injured five days earlier while descending Mt. Goddard, had run out of food, and ultimately crawled toward Davis Lake.

As sunset approached, potentially grounding the helicopter, the man was rapidly bandaged and carried to the helicopter by hand. He was flown back to the park helibase, where he was transferred to a Life Flight helicopter for transport to a local hospital.

[Submitted by Tom Parrack, Incident Commander]

this just in

north fork
Jul 14, 2014 - 08:39am PT
Wow, what an ordeal. Was happy passing the SAR guys coming out of Kaiser knowing they found him. I can only imagine the thoughts going through his head as he sat broken and waiting. Hope to meet you some day Gregg, beers on me.
Justin Ross

Social climber
Jul 14, 2014 - 09:20am PT
Gregg, you are one tough guy! Glad you made it out. Best wishes to you and heal up fast.

On another note. About 5 years ago my wife stated she would be unhappy with my continued backcountry soloing without a personal rescue beacon of sorts. So I picked up a SPOT. Seems to work well as long as you are not in dense canopy.

.....in a single wide......
Jul 14, 2014 - 10:38am PT
"If you're in a dense canopy, you're doing it wrong!!! ;)"
ha ha how right you are!!

Amazing story. So glad our climber bro survived. I cannot imagine 4 days (?) with a compound fracture. Message here is what others have said- leave a specific itinerary.

I solo hike a lot. I am gettin' close to pulling the trigger on a SPOT or similar....

Edit- if you hiking solo and have to/ choose to change your itinerary, leave info in writing, tuck it in a baggy and leave it at the juncture in question. Ya it's littering but you almost never have to do it so in the scheme of things, it's the right choice. Might help rescuers find you.

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 14, 2014 - 10:47am PT
I go out alone a lot. If I will be totally out of communications, I will bring a spot. Looking at an ugly, steep snow/ice patch that I needed to cross, I sent my husband an "OK" message from that point. Then I crossed the ugly terrain. Later he asked me why I sent this point from no remarkable location. I told him it would be the "Place Last Seen" if I blew the traverse.

No, the technology did not encourage me to do something I souldn't do otherwise. It did not make be braver. A plan with your loved ones, a check-in from time to time - all very helpful if something goes amiss.

Not happy about a friend cutting all communication before venturing into the widerness for the summer. No one will know where to start looking if her trip does not end when expected.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 14, 2014 - 10:47am PT
Great news. A happy ending for family, friends, loved ones, and the climbing community in general.

A round of congrats to all those involved in the rescue. This one is in the win column.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jul 14, 2014 - 10:48am PT
Way to stay alive champ!
Stevee B

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
Jul 14, 2014 - 10:59am PT
Fantastic news. I go out solo a lot and have a SPOT. They are nice but I like to remember that if I'm unconscious it won't do me much good. I try to still leave a reasonably detailed itinerary, if not with my wife, at least on a note on my windshield on my car.
I like that Reconn.org idea, but I can't see myself taking the time to fill all that out prior to heading off on a Saturday circuit.

Very grateful this turned out as well as it did for Greg, which is an odd thing to say, especially given how much suffering he endured in his efforts to self-rescue. Way to dig deep man.

There is so much value in stories like this. I'm sure Greg was drawing on stories of heroics he had read in order to pull himself through. Makes me grateful for the copy of ANAM I like to keep on the crapper.


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 14, 2014 - 11:03am PT
If you're in a dense canopy, you're doing it wrong!!! ;

If you buy the ACR pictured above you could be in yer basement and the signal would likely
get out. As a big bonus it also transmits on the international aviation emergency band of
121.5 so you're doubly covered. Plus with the ACR there's no yearly subscription!
5.5 ounces!

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 14, 2014 - 11:06am PT
Yeah, we get that. ;-) But it was a gud excuse for my endorsement.

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Jul 14, 2014 - 11:19am PT
Good story, Seamstress.

Trad climber
Western America
Jul 14, 2014 - 04:13pm PT
Hey Greg, you maniac! That's some real John Wayne hero stuff!

While your leg gets better check out the Supertopo
thread "The Power Of Choss Compels You".
Mt Goddard could be renamed Choss Pile Peak and no one would notice.

Seeing how you had days in close contact with prime
quality choss on the north side of Goddard, you
are the expert and could share valuable
observations with the rest of us chossaholics:l

some pictures of the area here

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 16, 2014 - 12:08pm PT


Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 16, 2014 - 12:19pm PT
Great video! Good on Gregg for keeping his wits!

For information, a GREAT signal mirror is an old CD or DVD.....very light, durable, and has the required hole in the center.

This has been your SAR tip for the day.

: )

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 16, 2014 - 01:33pm PT
That is a good tip, Craggie. You can also serve hors d'oeuvres on it PLUS
you could burn yer itinerary!

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 16, 2014 - 01:38pm PT
Good SAR tip of the day. It beats the camera with the faint little light one gentlemen used as a beacon. It worked - when we were 50 feet away from him!!
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