rlrjamy wrote:The approach from the North is longer and there are rocks to navigate...Very steep drop offs. Some game trails at times. Liz stayed lower than Joe and I. I think her trek was the hardest. It was a lot harder than just following the ridgeline.
On Fri-12/3/10 some of our most physically fit and strongest hikers have now completed this NW side approach to Sheep Mtn summit off trail from the MDT23. With Bob's conclusions above and Liz's detailed trip log observations/conclusions.. http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=56738
from their groups full day hike and search attempt, I now believe we can eliminate this approach being planned by GPSjoe for his last dayhike on Mon-11/8/10.
For reference,further analysis/comments for all as required I have posted here--> http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?QX=183
the combination of Bob's and Liz's 12/3 GPS tracks along with GPSjoe's "Last Chance" planned(drawn in route) and his actual 11/5/10 first hike attempt at this "Last Chance" route. We now know that GPSjoe was not physically able to summit Sheep Mtn on three(3) know attempts via the easier ridgeline route and neither was he able to summit via two(2) additional attempts going over Mt. Peeley Summit to connect with the ridgeline route, so I do personally feel that now after our HAZ search efforts/conclusions for 12/3/10, that GPSjoe would have also concluded after his 11/5/10 attempt, that there was just "no way" he should attempt it again on Mon-11/8/10. This however, does not eliminate the possibility of a return "bailout" attempt to this NW side on Mon-11/8 (due possible to late in the day high wind/cold conditions? and/or the possibility that because he probably did have his 11/5 actual hike track and last chance planning track loaded in his new Garmin 62s, that he may have thought due to less wind/cold? on the NW side, that he could bailout here and head for where his 11/5 gps track ended..or
.. maybe head down the west side to intersect Sheep Creek TR (let's hope that if he did bailout, that he did so again on one of the SE Ridgeline- ridges and/or ravines that we have dedicated a considerable amount of search effort on. EDIT ADD:
I'm just not sure that if another bailout was necessary, if he would have gone for the "devil he knew" or
the "devil he didn't".. Gabriele leans toward the "devil he knew" and I just can't say.. The "devil he knew" on a return could have also been the ridgeline back then over Mt. Peeley Summit again? maybe thinking he could get back to the TH sooner.. Also, as I recall from Brian's and sam_hikes last weekend efforts, that the SE ridge down from Sheep Mtn Summit , between ravines 3 and 4 still needs more dedicated search attention?
Thanks again to all for your continuing search efforts and behind the scenes support and concerns! :thanx: