Over the last couple of weeks, a search has been underway for a missing hiker in the Park. He had planned to cover about a hundred miles alone, including some remote and trail-less areas. Sadly, not a clue of his whereabouts has been found yet, despite hundreds of hours put in by multiple agencies with ground-pounders, technical mountaineering teams, dog teams, and helicopters. Jason got in on the search from the beginning and was out there for five or six days. He had a chance to snap some pics, and you can see the beauty and the ruggedness of the terrain; it draws people from all over the world to explore and yet is wild and unforgiving.
The magnitude of such an operation makes you appreciate the value we place on one lost person. I guess it just doesn't sit well with us to think of someone alone in the wilds - even if by their own doing. Of course, there are lots of persons lost to addiction, abuse, and poverty who are ignored, but that's another blog. Since they've scaled back the hiker search after combing the high probability areas very thoroughly, Jason went back to doing his same old biology stuff. But he still has the itch, just thinking, "This guy could still be out there. Not much chance of being alive, but what if? What if?" Even finding a lost person's remains in search operations is very important to the emotional well-being of the family. All week he has continued searching every night in his dreams. Two nights ago he found him, and then last night the dreams stopped.
Here's drying clothes and gear each night in prep for the next day; one particular day in the mountains the winds and hail came in strong and sideways and soaked everybody to the core.