Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

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Dschur
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Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Dschur » Nov 16 2010 2:04 pm

Hike Arizona urges anyone interested in searching to post or join an event.

If you go out, please track your hike on a GPS and post it for the benefit of future searches. Simply post it upon return. (if you need help ask the webmaster) Hike Arizona will see that it gets linked to a master map. If you have multiple variations in your group, please post all tracks. As more info is posted the map will evolve and the overlaps will be removed.

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Crews looking for missing hiker
By Alexis Bechman

November 16, 2010
Tonto Rim Search and Rescue volunteers and Gila County Sheriff officers are currently searching for an overdue hiker.

The man, whose name has not been released, was last heard from nine days ago and is believed to be hiking near the Mt. Peeley trail or Sheep Mountain, off Forest Road 201, southwest of Payson.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office first received a call that the man was overdue Monday, Nov. 15 about 9 p.m.

“The hiker has not been heard from since Nov. 7 and frequents the Mazatzal Mountain Wilderness area,” according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

The missing hiker’s vehicle was located at the Mt. Peeley trailhead.



Six TRSAR volunteers are currently searching the ground. Earlier Tuesday, a Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter did an aerial search of the area, but found no signs of the man
Dawn
--On the loose to climb a mountain, on the loose where I am free. On the loose to live my life the way I think my life should be...For we only have a moment and a whole world yet to see...I'll be looking for tomorrow on the loose. ---unknown--

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by thebrayer » Dec 04 2010 9:31 am

Twoseeking was talking about the first day of the search Tuesday.

Twoseeking wrote:
I was on the Tonto Rim SAR team on Tuesday morning the 16th. We were the first ones to arrive and first to search on the mountain. Maybe some of the info I have will help some of you. When we got on the ridge between Peeley and Sheep Mtn., we saw evidence consisting of broken twigs and branches and disturbed surface. These were slightly aged but appeared to be much fresher than an April hike would have produced. In fact they appeared fresher than the last rainstorm.


I know how to contact Twoseeking if anyone needs me to.

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Grasshopper » Dec 04 2010 12:39 pm

thebrayer wrote:I know how to contact Twoseeking if anyone needs me to.
Yes, please do and ask Twoseeking to log on to HAZ and pick up his PM that nonot (Steve) said he would send to Twoseeking for his reply back to nonot's questions..
Thank you!
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Grasshopper » Dec 04 2010 4:21 pm

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:
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by easytec » Dec 04 2010 5:16 pm

A friend and I are going to camp at Mt.Peely TH tonight and we will search the Davey Gowen trail tomorrow, we're bringing some technical gear and will repel into potential fall areas we come across. I'll post our tracks when we return.

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Grasshopper » Dec 04 2010 5:24 pm

@easytec
Thank you and there is one washout/downfall area.. http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?QX=184 (see red diamond waypoint location). You should consider downloading this GPS Route and also, my educated guess is that once you two do the entire ~2ml Davey Gowan TR48 segment, you are not going to want to do it twice, so you should be prepared to do the entire loop hike with Deer Crk TR45 ;)
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by The_Eagle » Dec 04 2010 6:01 pm

Joe, Denny and Myself hiked the AZT #22 Saddle Mountain, up to the Peely TH today. It's probably nothing, but we found a Camo Glove 6.7 miles from the Peely TH (N33 57.101 W111 30.790). We left it where we found it.
P1130224.JPG
Nothing else on the rest of the hike.
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by mazatzal » Dec 04 2010 7:54 pm

@ the Friday and Saturday searchers.
Nice job searching the north side of Sheep. Looks like tough terrain
: app :
:thanx:

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by RedRoxx44 » Dec 05 2010 3:26 pm

Brian and I are back from Sat dayhike north side of ridgeline. At times it was not too difficult although steep and certainly not as brushy as the south side. However the ridge that climbs toward the knob near 6910 has some knife edge ridges. We ran into Kenny and his lab below us for a while. The route certainly drove us to the easier ridgeline route which pretty much has a trail from all the traffic to at least the knob past 6910. We stopped there and studied the steep ravine between the ridge on the northside of 6910 and Sheep north ridge. We felt would be very unlikely due to a lot of elevation gain and loss and it was not free of brush.
We did not find anything but animal disturbance and not much of that. We went down one short ravine to a level area where my cliff face was I saw from the ravine previous weekend but was very brushy there and showed no sign of bushwacking.

Thanks Joe, Denny, Coanbru for passing on the gatorade.

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Vaporman » Dec 05 2010 9:00 pm

Grasshopper wrote: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?
@Hank Those are good ideas on where to continue searching! To be honest, it takes so much time to reach and return from the 3-4 ridge that even strong hikers wouldn't be able to spend much time searching that ridge. And it seems to be the consensus that Joe wasn't able to reach Sheep Mt, so that'd rule out a bailout down the ridges between ravines 2-4. Though he could reach peak 6910 and may have bailed down one of the SE ridges or ravines between 4-8 or maybe he bailed off the northside like you mentioned to avoid the wind or try something different... ;)
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by fotogirl53 » Dec 05 2010 9:23 pm

I finally had some time today to hike the Peeley Summit. This was my first time in this area, and I guess I needed to see it for myself. I spent alot of time glassing from the ridge above ravine 9. Followed the trail back down. Had no trouble with SPOT getting my messages out, but my cellphone kept cutting out (Verizon).
I want to thank all of the searchers--even more now that I understand the monumental amount of effort you have put into searching. I'm sorry my endurance and strength levels do not allow me to do more. I ran into oldguy and his hiking buddy, a steward for this section of the AZT. It was nice to meet you.

BTW: about 1 mile up from the Peeley TH, I noticed broken brush, followed down to a little level area, then lost the "trail". I have tied a little orange tape to a bush on the trail since I created alot more broken sticks. This area is near a ravine (left side of trail as you ascend), and I was wondering if this could be where those dogs alerted......

RIP, Joe
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by suzaz » Dec 05 2010 9:48 pm

Alright Brian--I'm going to follow your thinking with my 2 cents. If Joe only made it to Peak 6910 and opted to bail I would guess that route to be Ravine 4 or maybe 5. If he made it much further back across the ridgeline (to ravine 7) the route down the north side was so easy he would most likely have done that instead of subjecting himself to the other unknown ravines. He knew what ravine 7 had to offer and he knew the north side. I keep coming back to Ravine #4

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Grasshopper » Dec 05 2010 10:11 pm

Vaporman wrote:And it seems to be the consensus that Joe wasn't able to reach Sheep Mt, so that'd rule out a bailout down the ridges between ravines 2-4.
Odds would favor GPSjoe may not have reached Sheep Mtn summit on this sixth attempt on his last Mon-11/8 as a result of five previous failed hike attempts between 11/16/09 thru 11/5/10, but I'm not yet convinced nor do I think there is presently a "consensus" that he wasn't able to reach the summit on Mon-11/8. On these prior five attempts, he always seemed to turn back correctly due to time (daylight) constraints, but his last attempt on Mon-11/8 (and I must admit that my assumption is that Sheep Mtn again was his hike objective), and only three days after his last failed 11/5 attempt. His known persistence, determination, perseverance, and yes-stubbornness might very well have overruled good logic and taken him to his summit goal and then after with nightfall soon upon him and maybe wind/cold also, is when the real problems began trying to navigate back (which route we do not know)..

Also, from reading the recent trip log comments/possible conclusions drawn on Bob's recent 12/3/10 search hike--> http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=56730 , I think we need to be open minded about the possibility that Joe really could have taken the rocks/cliffs route up and/or down on his Mon-11/8. He may not have preferred these rocky cliff routes, but he wanted that summit bad. This I know is true and the low-thick vegetation was what was slowing him down. We all remember this lasting quote from his 4/27/10 trip log (his known 4th hike attempt at Sheep Mtn summit):
"The snow is gone, the trails are completely dry and the downed tree blocking access to the Mount Peeley TH has been cleared. So the pool is open.
I made another unsuccessful attempt to reach Sheep Mountain. This time my GPS said I was 0.35 miles (straight line) from the summit. What does me in on this hike is not the terrain but rather the low vegetation - Manzanita, Cactus, other stuff.
The approach I have tried is to go past the Mt Peeley summit turnoff on the Divide trail for just over 1/2 mile and turn left to gain the ridgeline which is only 200 yards (straight line) from the trail there. The first half mile of off trail hiking to the ridgeline is relatively easy since the forest floor is clear for hiking. After that the hiking becomes tough. The ridgeline involves class 3 scrambling and rock climbing and that is not the tough part. It is the low vegetation that eventually does me in. I made it to peak 6910 and beyond just before Sheep Mountain.
You need to be a little crazy to try this one but I know there are some crazies out there."


Maybe after four failed attempts due to these previous routes " low vegetation - Manzanita, Cactus, other stuff that eventually does me in", he may have decided to try the exposed rocky/cliffs without the low vegetation this one last time..?
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by easytec » Dec 05 2010 10:22 pm

Thanks to you and Joe, I did not even use my GPS to stay on trail today, great job flagging the route. You guys took what was a very unfollowable, extreme, 13hr bushwacking hike and turned it into a manageable (though masochistic, as Joe described it) day hike. We did not see any human footprints today on the Davey Gowan section even though I know you and Joe were there in early November. We checked all likely ravines and did not see anything out of the ordinary. I believe we found the same sunglasses nonot found about 1 mile from the Peeley TH on Deer Creek trial #45, I don’t believe they are Joe’s but will post a picture with my trip log. The only other potentially identifiable human sign we found were fairly fresh, size ~14 boot prints heading down from Peeley TH on Deer Creek trail ( I’ll also post a picture of the boot print). I did not know Joe but I know he loved this area and the challenges it possesses; I will think of his strength, persistence, and his love of the outdoors every time I visit the Mazatzals.
Grasshopper wrote:@easytec
Thank you and there is one washout/downfall area.. http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?QX=184 (see red diamond waypoint location). You should consider downloading this GPS Route and also, my educated guess is that once you two do the entire ~2ml Davey Gowan TR48 segment, you are not going to want to do it twice, so you should be prepared to do the entire loop hike with Deer Crk TR45 ;)

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Grasshopper » Dec 05 2010 10:31 pm

@easytec
:thanx:
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Vaporman » Dec 06 2010 5:31 am

Grasshopper wrote:Maybe after four failed attempts due to these previous routes " low vegetation - Manzanita, Cactus, other stuff that eventually does me in", he may have decided to try the exposed rocky/cliffs without the low vegetation this one last time..?
Good point! Yea, he very well could have pushed much harder this time and ran into issues in that rugged section between 6910 and Sheep Mt where the visibility is very low and that's why he hasn't been found yet... Susan makes a good point also; maybe if he made it that far and needed to bail he may have gone done ravine 4 which has been glassed by a few peps but not descended yet due to how thick & time consuming it'd be. ;)
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by cabel » Dec 06 2010 5:40 am

@fotogirl53
The broken brush on the east side was from Thoreau on 12/4/10 as we searched the ravine on the east side.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by BobP » Dec 06 2010 7:15 am

Grasshopper wrote:of five previous failed hike attempts between 11/16/09 thru 11/5/10, but I'm not yet convinced nor do I think there is presently a "consensus" that he wasn't able to reach the summit on Mon-11/8.
There wasn't a summit register except for the TSAR names on 11/18 when we summitted on 11/19...I've never heard back if there was one and it was removed. It seemed like in the past Joe did sign register summit logs.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by SUN_HIKER » Dec 06 2010 7:30 am

There wasn't a summit register except for the TSAR names on 11/18 when we summitted on 11/19...I've never heard back if there was one and it was removed. It seemed like in the past Joe did sign register summit logs.
Yes, you are correct. Joe would have looked for the register and signed in. That was always something he's look for as well as the geodetic marker.
SUN HIKER

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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by BobP » Dec 06 2010 9:28 am

1203search.jpg
google earth with the planner track and mine and Joe's track
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Thoreau » Dec 06 2010 9:34 am

cabel wrote:@fotogirl53
The broken brush on the east side was from Thoreau on 12/4/10 as we searched the ravine on the east side.
Just posted the GPS track from that hike. (Kinda screwed up on the first attempt, and now there are two in there, one with no data points, in case anyone with the magical Delete button can nuke that.)

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