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Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
OVERDUE HIKER - please help if you can on 10/25/2012 13:06:25 MDT Print View

Posting this here just in case anyone has any info:

http://www.nps.gov/seki/parknews/upload/FLYER-LAWRENCE-CONN-OVERDUE-HIKER-Oct-24-2012.pdf

Last seen on the Taboose Pass trail heading into the mountains on Friday the 19th.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: OVERDUE HIKER - please help if you can on 10/25/2012 13:29:16 MDT Print View

So people don't have to go read that link:

On Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, Larry started his hike at the Taboose Creek Trailhead in the Inyo National Forest with plans to travel over Taboose Pass toward the John Muir Trail in Kings Canyon National Park. His route may have included Split Mountain and areas to the south, including Pinchot Pass. He planned to be back on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012.

Andy Duncan
(bluewater) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: OVERDUE HIKER - please help if you can on 10/25/2012 14:23:54 MDT Print View

I have read that Larry is an experienced hiker. He is a long time member of the High Sierra Topic forum. There is more information at:

http://highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8537

regarding the search. Here are a few photos just in case anyone has seen him.

Larry

And his tent:

tent

Andy.

Brian Johns
(bcutlerj) - M

Locale: NorCal
Any update? on 10/31/2012 01:39:24 MDT Print View

Or word yet on this hiker? Given the experience, location and time of year, I expect a happy ending.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Not yet Found on 10/31/2012 07:26:30 MDT Print View

No, as of last night, the man remains "missing". It's now been quite a while and there's weather involved. Not good, but there are those who apparently know him that feel he's got the smarts to last things out, if in able condition but immobile for some reason.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re OVERDUE HIKER - please help if you can on 10/31/2012 11:09:50 MDT Print View

I've been following the threads over at HST and it's heartbreaking. I hope they find Larry alive, but the odds at this point are not favorable. They posted up some of Larry's previous posts and he has stated he doesn't follow his own trip plans, he doesn't carry a SPOT, and he doesn't even own a compass or gps, and he didn't have a stove. He was known to carry adequate cold weather clothing and gear, and extra food.

I hope he's found alive, but if nothing else I hope people will consider how they approach their own solo adventures. It's possible something happened to Larry that no amount of safety gear would have helped with, but it's also possible that if he'd had navigation equipment or a SPOT or PLB that this ordeal would have been over days ago.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Tributes to missing hiker on 11/12/2012 01:18:43 MST Print View

3.5 weeks after he was last seen, Larry Conn has not returned.

There are some moving tributes to Larry, and some words about how much he was moved by the mountains, here:

http://highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8537

...scroll down to the last two or three pages.

He leaves behind a partner and a 7-year-old son.

You will be in our thoughts for a long time to come, Larry.

- Elizabeth

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Tributes to missing hiker on 11/12/2012 02:04:38 MST Print View

Rumoured to be carrying no stove and no compass.
> He leaves behind a partner and a 7-year-old son.

And those he left behind now have to manage by themselves. They're the ones who are suffering now.

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 11/12/2012 13:43:41 MST.

Phillip Damiano
(Phillipsart) - M

Locale: Australia
Overdue hiker on 11/17/2012 18:08:55 MST Print View

This is so sad,

I would never venture out in the bush with no map, compass or GPS on a solo trek is not a wise dessicion to make, I take extra precautions when i am solo. I dont venture off track solo unless i know the area well. Choosing to keep to formed hiking trails on my solo treks. Off track with a group of mates.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - M

Locale: norcal
compass on 11/19/2012 00:50:33 MST Print View

It's just so worth it to carry a basic compass.

Mine is like 35g and is super small and from REI.

Most of the time you don't need it but when you do...

When we were in Yellowstone at about half way through our trip we basically ran out of trail. The map was 100% wrong.

We had to walk about 4 miles through a valley/swamp to the other side to re-orient our position and then find the trail emerging from the valley some three hours later.

Without a compass we would have had to turn back.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Compass not the issue on 11/19/2012 08:24:29 MST Print View

I carry a compass, too.

However, the issue with this man isn't one of navigation: by all accounts, he was very familiar with the areas he backpacked into. The general consensus is that disaster befell him, such as a fall or "medical", rather than him becoming lost. Were he lost and needing orientation, the fellow had clearly established capability to hunker down and make himself known to rescuers that scoured the area.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Compass not the issue on 11/19/2012 09:08:13 MST Print View

I agree. I have hiked extensively in this area and if he a map then a compass would likely only be needed in the event of a whiteout. I think we should be careful speculating on causes until there is a bit more data.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Compass not the issue on 11/30/2012 18:30:00 MST Print View

Jumped in late... I agree with what Greg wrote. Speculation that such and such piece of gear would have made the difference is just that -- speculation. And given the turn of events -- we can tone down the sarcasm too. "Cheers".

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - M

Locale: norcal
medical on 12/04/2012 12:13:09 MST Print View

I really hope they find him and everything works out.

The issue that keep me awake at night have more to do with a fall or health reasons while alone.

Most of the trail have enough traffic that if you are hurt you can just walk to the trail and someone will come by in a few days at most.

We need a better way to find trail partners - if for safety alone.

A broken leg can be very problematic when alone but if you have a partner can be far easier to recover from.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: medical on 12/04/2012 12:59:53 MST Print View

Kevin, it has been like a month and a half.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: medical on 12/04/2012 18:05:57 MST Print View

"The issue that keep me awake at night have more to do with a fall or health reasons while alone."

The cold hard truth, Kevin, is that every once in a while an incident like this occurs and, while terribly sad, it does serve to clarify the risks inherent in solo hiking. I feel for his family and friends, and am sad for him, but also see it as an object lesson for those who contemplate soloing but may not have thought thru the potential consequences. Anyone who does so should do it with their eyes wide open.

Diana Nevins
(artemis) - MLife

Locale: Great Plains
Another cold, Hard Truth on 12/04/2012 18:38:41 MST Print View

I think it's important to remember, too, that we have no way of knowing whether having a hiking partner would have helped in this case. If you're way out in the backcountry and have a massive MI, all your hiking partner is going to be able to do is to watch you die - there's just no way for medical help to arrive in time, even if you're carrying a PLB or a satellite phone.

Maybe hiking solo proved a fatal mistake in this case - or may be not. Maybe it was just Larry Conn's time to go. Until/unless his body is found and a cause of death can be accurately determined, we just don't know.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Another cold, Hard Truth on 12/04/2012 21:01:14 MST Print View

" think it's important to remember, too, that we have no way of knowing whether having a hiking partner would have helped in this case. If you're way out in the backcountry and have a massive MI, all your hiking partner is going to be able to do is to watch you die - there's just no way for medical help to arrive in time, even if you're carrying a PLB or a satellite phone."

True enough, but it sure would have saved SAR a lot of time, expense, and personal risk.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Different Acceptances of Risks on 12/04/2012 21:42:23 MST Print View

Reading some of the posts about the riskiness of hiking solo...

I think we can all think of scenarios where a twosome could have saved the day (versus handling a situation solo). But then, some might argue that a threesome or a quartet could handle difficult situations even better! And then, there are those who think hiking out in the wilds in the middle of winter is just plain insane!

Where do we draw the line? IMHO, extremes aside, there really is no single line. We all have to weigh the costs against the benefits and against our own experiences (of course).

Bottom line, each to his or her own. More preparedness. Less idle speculation.

Edited by ben2world on 12/04/2012 22:51:19 MST.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Different Acceptances of Risks on 12/05/2012 13:55:37 MST Print View

I think it is well to consider, in the light of this unfortunate occurrence, the two different kinds of risk that accompany solo travel. The first is risks that you, the traveler, accept for yourself. You decide that the added risk to life and limb that traveling alone in the wilds presents is worth it to you in order to have the experience that it provides. I might add that this is not a simple equation - solo=more risk. A person might be safer traveling solo in some situations compared to traveling with companions who they are responsible for and who does not have their level of experience or competence.But generally, solo is riskier.

The second is the risks that you ask others to accept for you. The worry and perhaps grief that your injury or death may bring to family and friends; and the risks that will be taken by those who search for you. It is these secondary risks that I find the most troubling in my own considerations of going alone. If I were still single and childless, and could be assured that if I was lost no one would come looking for me and risk their own safety to do it, then I could feel that it was all my risk. But Since I am married and have kids and since I know that I will be searched for even if I tried to arrange that I would not be, I feel differently.
These secondary risks have led me to decide that I have an obligation to those at home and those who would come looking to carry a PLB, for their sake. I realize thee are situations where it wouldn't matter - if I fall and die it won't matter what I am carrying - so it's not perfect but there it is.

Everyone has to consider the risks and decide what they want to do. I just think it's important to be aware of the risks that you take for others as well as those you take for yourself.