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

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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 johnr1 » Nov 26 2010 6:39 pm

Grasshopper wrote:snip so, does this add any more complications to what we are thinking he may have considered on his Mon-11/8?[/i] Do we have any psychics out there who can help fit this puzzle together? :?
I am not a psychic. It does seem that there are pointers to an attempt to contour the north side and go up Sheep from another direction. That route seems to me to be very hard compared to the ridge which is why it hasnt received much attention. Picture 1 captures the difficulty of the brush but doesnt capture how steep that side is. Never the less, joe may ascribe to the common definition of ignorance being trying the same thing and expecting a different result. He would then want to do something really different which would be to countour the north side. Therefore we should have a look and see if there is anything pertinent.

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

Post by Grasshopper » Nov 26 2010 7:09 pm

johnr1 wrote:It does seem that there are pointers to an attempt to contour the north side and go up Sheep from another direction. That route seems to me to be very hard compared to the ridge which is why it hasnt received much attention.
johnr1 wrote:joe may ascribe to the common definition of ignorance being trying the same thing and expecting a different result. He would then want to do something really different which would be to countour the north side. Therefore we should have a look and see if there is anything pertinent.
John, thanks for your thoughts on this. He certainly did try the ridgeline approach three know times without success on 11/16/09, 12/4/09, and 4/27/10. Maybe rather than aborting another try like this last known 11/5/10 exploratory hike on that north side, he actually found what he was looking for on this 11/5 for his last Mon-11/8 and/or was willing to give it another go anyway on 11/8? Like you, I now think this is another important route area needing more concentrated search efforts.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Grasshopper » Nov 26 2010 8:29 pm

For your possible easier GPS download and use (rather than from the HAZ Home Page link now in place), we have loaded on the HAZ-Hike Description page for "Sheep Mountain"--> http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=15829 all GPSjoe's now know Sheep Mountain Summit attempts for:
11/16/09, 12/4/09, 4/27/10, and 11/5/10
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by suzaz » Nov 26 2010 8:55 pm

Unfortunately I do not have not much info to offer after our hike today. We hiked the Mt. Peeley trailhead on the MDT to the Peeley Summit route. We took the summit route for a short distance but then contoured around Peeley until we were able to reach the ridgeline. (this was creeping into the ridiculous zone, don't want to repeat it) However, this landed us at the upper end of ravine 9. We hiked the ridgeline from 9 to 9A (nasty thick) on to ravines 8 and then 7. There was lots of broken up manzanita between 8 and 7. I had hoped to get to ravine #4 but we opted to turn around anticipating a long trek. I had serious reservations about going back the way we came and was considering any alternate bailout route...............possibly bringing me closer to how Joe felt last November but let me tell you I WOULD NOT have opted to go down through Ravine 7 like Joe did a year ago----holy heck hannah! What would drive him down that exit?

Nonot, Vaporman and Kenny (my eyes from above) met up at Thicket Spring. They split up and literally flew up the ridges between 7/8 and 6/7. They were on the ridgeline chatting about where to go while we were still battling ice covered rocks and thick vegetation around the northwest side of Peeley. I still can not fathom what would drive joe down Ravine 7 last november after getting a good look at it today. (perhaps the need for water at Thicket Spring?)

Our exit today was much sweeter than our approach. From 7 we zipped through a small section of the ridgeline and then headed straight down the North side until we hit the MDT. This was so crazy-easy and fast compared to the way we came up. We saw a man on the trail doing maintenance (apologize for not remembering his name) told us he had met Joe out there before perhaps on a couple of occasions. . Nonot went back to camp by finishing the ridgline and then dropping on the MDT while Kenny and Brian went back down to the campsite between 4/5. Everyone is safe and accounted of. They guys weren't completely sure what they will do tomorrow, yet. Hope this info is helpful to others.
Last edited by suzaz on Nov 27 2010 7:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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

Post by juliachaos » Nov 26 2010 9:03 pm

Ok, after taking a closer look at Joe's photos and the routes he'd taken previously, this is what I think:

1.) the Last Chance route may have originally been his last effort to Sheep from the north. However, I think the pictures show his determination to find another, better route from that direction.
2.) it seems that he would create at least a cursory route ahead of time. If no other routes attempting Sheep were found on his computer, it's likely that he took a route that he had been on before. This may or may not include routes that have already been posted.
3.) now looking at Joe's GPS routes in order, I doubt that he would have bailed out via a drainage again. After his initial route, his next two ridgeline routes followed the ridgeline back to the trail. It would appear that he learned that following the drainages down was more difficult than originally thought.

I don't believe he attempted Sheep via the ridgeline that day. The way I look at it, he was thinking of revisiting the north side. I'm not sure that hiking the Sheep Creek Trail would have made sense from the Peeley TH, so I'm assuming a route to the north slopes via the Mazatzal Divide Trail. Bottom line is, I think it's very possible that he could be somewhere west of the MDT. Because of the brush, and possibly because of terrain, I don't think he would have made it much farther than he did with the 11/5/10 route.

Thoughts?

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

Post by Hippy » Nov 26 2010 9:12 pm

http://jocosarblog.typepad.com/jocosarb ... d-off.html

I'm a bit late here, but is this true?? They really called off the search? :( Did anyone call it back on?? They aren't really giving up are they?

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

Post by mazatzal » Nov 26 2010 10:12 pm

I've been looking at Sheep mtn approaches since I failed to summit via the ridge in 1999. And I'v been re-studying my thoughts extensively for the past 9 days. I agree with Liz that an approach from the north via MDT could have ben planned by Joe but it is unlikely he would get far due to terrain and brush. A search of MDT to the west (north of Sheep mtn would be useful). An approach from Sheep Creek is totally impractical for a day trip.

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

Post by DarthStiller » Nov 26 2010 10:13 pm

@MtnResq30

I saw the 4Peaks crew today. Posted pics and video in my triplog for Brown's Peak. From what I could tell by talking to other hikers, it sounded like once SAR searchers hit Brown's Saddle, they were already chasing after the guy they went out there for. Nice to know it was a nice outcome.

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

Post by airic » Nov 26 2010 10:55 pm

Reposting this here for folks not on the backpack thread:

I covered 5 and 6 this morning and the ridges adjacent. I also took a look at the beginning of 3 and 4 as I want to hit these...initially not as much brush, but that could change further up. I feel it possible that if Joe made it to Sheep, he may have taken a direct route down to the nearest trail, which would be 3 or 4 to the Arizona Trail. Brian and Steve may do those routes tomorrow, still under discussion when I left their site. Ken is also camping with them. He's out there with a spotting scope scanning the routes. The drainages aren't always the best route out there, the ridges adjacent often offered a route of less resistance... though everything needs to be checked. Cliffs along the main ridge from Sheep to Peeley (ropes down Peeley on the SE side into the brush) I think are priority, but drainage 3 and 4 option should not be overlooked. Based on what I have learned about Joe I can imagine him finding a new way down after hitting Sheep. I didn't get to read every post so maybe it was answered, but do we know if a storm came through that day/night that would have forced a quick exit? Also has Tonto NF been involved with their knowledge of the area? Not sure if the mines were checked already, but Ken did go double check. There was some water in drainage 5 and plenty in the creek paralleling Cornucopia Trail. The Sheriff's helicopter made a few fly-bys as well, not sure if CAMRA was in there or not. Gloves will help grabbing the bush and and the road up is a piece of cake for SUV/truck, 4 wheel not necessary. It sounded like among those I bumped into good progress was being made, and I only bumped into half the hikers out there. That was all quite a jumble, sorry. If anyone has any questions on the lay of the land or routes out there just let me know. -Eric

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

Post by topohiker » Nov 26 2010 11:05 pm

I did a bunch of trails today. Imight have found a clue (or not). At 6.19 miles from the Mormon Grovve TH, on the Sheep Creek trail, I found a yellow rain jacket.It was wet and stiff like it's been out there for a bit. It wasn't sun destroyed, it looked it hasn't been out there for the summer. Did GPS Joe have a bright yellow (non-breathable) rubber rain jacket? I took a pic and recorded the GPS poiunts. I'll upload them later.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Grasshopper » Nov 26 2010 11:14 pm

laztazam wrote: I agree with Liz that an approach from the north via MDT could have ben planned by Joe but it is unlikely he would get far due to terrain and brush. A search of MDT to the west (north of Sheep mtn would be useful).
I agree with Richard, Liz, and John that we need more concentrated search efforts west in from the Mazzie Div TR23 EITHER from Joe's same off trail take off point waypoint (N34.001651 W111.491856) as posted in his 11/5/10 hike (follow in the route he actually hiked out on 11/5 since he made better time coming out on 11/5) then once all the way in to his 11/5 track track return point, start following his 10/19/10 planned route that continues around the west side of Sheep Mth and then heads up to the summit) AND/OR look for another possible take off point a little further down the MDT that heads in west to maybe intersect Joe's 10/19/10 planner track for his 11/5/10 attempt? Does anyone but me follow this logic?

I understand that Letty is camping in her FJ Cruiser at the Peeley TH tonight (there may be cell reception there.. does anyone know or can contact someone who can communicate this info to her to also communicate to nonot and group camping down at Thicket Spr on the Cornucopia TR.. I am concerned about all the fire power we now have there and we all want it to be utilized as effectively as as possible based on the latest info we have for their full day out there tomorrow Sat-11/27.
suzaz wrote: They guys weren't completely sure what they will do tomorrow, yet.
:o

Of course, the caveat to all this is that they will need some gps data downloaded in a gps (nonot has his gps for sure but probably not the 10/19 and 11/5) they will need this 10/19/10 planning route downloaded.. http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?QX=145 along with the actual 11/5/10 hike track.. http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?GPS=9723 Oh pumpkin, I just looked at the clock and it is now after 11pm.. Is anyone still up who agrees with me and can download these two tracks and take them out to our search groups on Sat-11/27am?

EDIT: Here is a track file combining the two tracks above to show Joe's actual 11/5/10 north approach hike along with the 10/19/10 Plan Route to Summit Sheep Mtn from heading around to the west side and then up to summit Sheep Mtn from the west. I also located some new and additional waypoints added from a Joe different track file for this 11/5, for me this kind-of confirms he was trying to follow this 10/19 plan route on 11/5 but did he also do it again on his disappearance hike for Mon-11/8 ??? --> http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?QX=147 MAYBE HE DID..
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by juliachaos » Nov 26 2010 11:23 pm

@Grasshopper
The two search scenarios you suggested are exactly what I had in mind.

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

Post by Grasshopper » Nov 26 2010 11:34 pm

topohiker wrote:Did GPS Joe have a bright yellow (non-breathable) rubber rain jacket? I took a pic and recorded the GPS poiunts. I'll upload them later.
Ken, thanks for the beta and please do post pic with waypoint and I'm pretty sure (Gabriele will hopefully see this and confirm or deny) he did not own nor do I think he would normally wear a bright yellow anything.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by rayhiker » Nov 27 2010 3:26 am

joe bartels wrote:@arizonadreaming

perhaps about 1.8mi from the trailhead on the north face of Peeley?
http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?QX=135
Joe's location doesn't make sense to me since the drop off (going in) is to the right, not the left. Also it's a big drop off into the canyon, not really into a ravine as suggested by arizonadreaming.

@arizonadreaming You have one of the only good leads for us right now. Can you return to the scene with a GPS to identify where you were?

@EVERYONE Thanks for all the effort. Wish I could join the search but I am laid out with a bad ankle. Has anyone yet tried to actually follow the GPS tracks of 11/5 exactly? I like the current thoughts for search approach. (Get to the turn around point of 11/5 then follow the "Last Chance" route to the summit).

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

Post by rayhiker » Nov 27 2010 4:00 am

One more thought: There really may be some significance to Joe's 11/5 pictures -- seems like a huge clue as to something he was looking for. Someone should try to get to those photo locations as well and look for clues -- what was he looking for? A good avenue would be to search the whole area encompassed by these photos. It looks very rugged but maybe Joe thought he found a way thru there -- contouring? climbing to the ridge going SSW from where he stopped? either way -- yikes. "Last Chance" neighborhood looks daunting.

I also like Hank's thoughts on looking at Joe's 11/5 exit route since it was faster. I think it is significant that he returned via a downhill contour route rather than going to the ridgeline (scouting for alternatives? unimpressed with the ridgeline?)

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

Post by SUN_HIKER » Nov 27 2010 7:11 am

Grasshopper wrote:
topohiker wrote:Did GPS Joe have a bright yellow (non-breathable) rubber rain jacket? I took a pic and recorded the GPS poiunts. I'll upload them later.
Ken, thanks for the beta and please do post pic with waypoint and I'm pretty sure (Gabriele will hopefully see this and confirm or deny) he did not own nor do I think he would normally wear a bright yellow anything.
Hank, you are correct.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by te_wa » Nov 27 2010 8:00 am

rayhiker wrote: Joe's location doesn't make sense to me since the drop off (going in) is to the right, not the left. Also it's a big drop off into the canyon, not really into a ravine as suggested by arizonadreaming
I might have overlooked, but i dont recall seeing that arizonadreaming said what trail he was on. IF he was on either the Deer Creek trail, or the Cornucopia trail then YES there are drop offs to the left.
(BUT, the Deer Creek trail to the canyon floor is less than 2 miles.. he did not know, he guessed his mileage)

@Hank - I have had cell communication with Verizon and i do think there is a tower on Mt. Ord.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by suzaz » Nov 27 2010 8:19 am

Brian had a faint signal from the campsite last night and sent me a message. I can contact them and they will get the message at some point. Just not sure what you info you want me to send them. (I've fallen behind on these posts while out searching). Let me know.

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

Post by juliachaos » Nov 27 2010 8:22 am

Based on the time (a half hour of hiking), I'm going to guess that the location was actually only about one mile in. I've marked two areas (really, the only areas on the trail) where the terrain does drop down to the left: http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?QX=140

@rayhiker
Joe B has geocoded the photos here.

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

Post by Grasshopper » Nov 27 2010 8:53 am

juliachaos wrote:@rayhiker
Joe B has geocoded the photos here.
GPSjoe's house key has been fed-Xed to Gabriele for Monday-11/29 Delivery. She plans to be at Joe's house to verify a few important things for us all, one being to pull all the 11/5 hike pics off his computer file and upload ASAP onto this above HAZ posted 11/5 pic set.. http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=13341 Christian (joe's sonn) did not know the significance of these pics at the time he was in PHX (and neither did we until now) so he only pulled 3 pics from a larger file set.. Now, also that I found those additional waypoints loaded on his 11/5 hike, it is now of increasing importance that search teams get in there on that 11/5 actual and LAST CHANCE posted planned route to check it all out as far into and up on Sheep Mtn as possible... http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?QX=147
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