For those of us now planning our organized group and individual ongoing search efforts I thought it a good idea FOR US ALL TO AGAIN READ these previous and most important posts by David Bremson- Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association:
MtnResq30 wrote:by MtnResq30 » Nov 25 2010 12:23 pm
Please consider the reliability of each clue before sending it though. Often we will receive reports of items that are clearly not associated with the missing subject, i.e., a pair of glasses that have clearly been in the field for years, old food cans, shoes, whatever.
MtnResq30 wrote:by MtnResq30 » Nov 24 2010 6:49 pm
Remember, there are more many clues and only one GPSJoe. Look for clues such as a debris field (hat, pack, hiking poles, glasses) in areas where a fall may have been possible.
MtnResq30 wrote:by MtnResq30 » Nov 24 2010 1:49 pm
I have received a number of requests to post the segments that Mountain Rescue has searched during the mission to locate Mr. Domin. Perhaps I can provide some insight based upon the information that you all have posted over the last week.
As many of you have discovered, this area presents considerable challenges to the hiker and the searcher. As a hiker, this area is rugged, steep and unless you stay on the limited trails, is wrought with inhospitable terrain and brutal vegetation. To the searcher, the environmental complexity grows exponentially as this requires operating at a high level to travel safely while being an effective search resource. A job easier said than done.
The posts in this forum have been impressive and, for many, quite accurate. Many of you have made many relatively accurate assumptions regarding his probable intentions and his probably route. These are accurate only if your assumptions correctly identified his probable intentions and his probable route. Since his situation was discovered by a concerned friend several days after his hike began, this is the only information that you have to commence solving the classic mystery of searching for a lost person.
When searching for someone who is most likely immobile and unresponsive the rule of probability continues. We have been asked to provide information regarding where we searched, but knowing this specific area is truly of little value as you continue to search. Allow me to decipher the meaning of that statement. Because no one knows for certain where Mr. Domin intended to hike, nor the specific route he intended to hike, an assumption must be based on the information that you have, which is the GPS data and forum posts from previous hikes. If he was unsuccessful in reaching his goal by way of these previous routes, it is probable that he intended to hike another route, or perhaps, hike a completely different trail. Which do you choose? Let’s say that you decide that he made another go for Sheep Mountain, you can determine the route/area with the highest probability because you know that some areas are less probable than others and you can’t search them all due to terrain and vegetation. Now you have determined what we call PoA, or Probability of Area. Next, you must determine the likelihood of actually finding a clue, or finding Mr. Domin, in a certain area. This is PoD or Probability of Detection. For those who have actually been in the area, based upon your comments in this forum, you have determined that it is very challenging to see anything in the Manzanita and on the slopes of the mountain, thus the PoD is very low. To know where we have searched may lead you to believe that there was a high PoD and that Mr. Domin is certainly not there. You also know that to increase your probability you must increase your number of repetitions. If I want to flip a coin and get “heads” 10 times, I know, based upon probability, that I must flip it at least 10 times, but more likely 20 times. There is also the probability that it will take 40 flips. There is also the probability that it could land on its side or never come down. Translation – Mr. Domin could be outside of your probable search area. The probability is low, but it does exist. In reality, you could search an area and be standing right next to, or on top of, a clue and never know it. If you continued, you would think that you have searched an area and that the clue is not there. How many times have you searched for something as easy to find as your car keys, going back to the same location several times and then finally finding them? They did not move, you just did not recognize the clue because of other factors. My point, finding Mr. Domin is challenging, and in reality, may not be a solvable situation. However, the probability also exists that one of you, or Mountain Rescue or TRSAR will find him.
I also wanted to touch on a couple of side topics that were discussed in the forum. One is the use of SPOT or PLB’s while traveling in the backcountry. Many limitations were identified, yet even with these limitations it is my personal opinion that the benefits far outweigh the limitations. Personally, I do not travel in to the backcountry without a SPOT. I find it a useful tool to let my friends and family know that I am ok during a trip and also can ask for assistance if I find myself in a situation that I can’t solve. Anyone could break an ankle or have something else happen. In the backcountry, little problems quickly become big problems and can have a significant impact on your life. Being able to ask for help, when appropriate, can truly be the difference between life and death.
The next topic addresses self-sufficiency in the backcountry. As I mentioned, even a small issue can grow to a big one when in the mountains. The question, how many of you have taken a Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder class? If you have not, I highly recommend this training. Mountain Rescue offers course throughout the year and could even coordinate a class specific to HAZ.
Finally, I am truly impressed by the concern for Mr. Domin. Your desire to bring him home is amazing and I wish that everyone would put the same energy in to their respective communities. As you continue to search, please remember that your safety should be your primary concern. Don’t let emotion reign over good judgment and sound decision making. Mr. Domin was a very experienced backcountry hiker, proving that anything can happen, even to those with a lot of experience and knowledge. Be sure to file a flight plan before you head out, even on a day hike. Tell someone where you are going, when you will return and don’t deviate from your plan. I have been a backcountry user for 30 plus years, have climbed all over the world and still follow this rule. One day it will save my life.
Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association