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

Post by GTG_AZH » Nov 18 2010 12:23 pm

A small group of us from AZH are going out early Saturday AM and will be searching Saturday and Sunday. We will be car camping somewhere in the area. I have multiple FRS radios to lend out if need be but no reliable GPS. If anyone wants to set up teams to scan and be safe let me know.

Suggestions for a car camp nearby? I've never been to the Mt Peely trailhead and surely don't want to camp there and be in the way.

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

Post by PatrickL » Nov 18 2010 12:28 pm

This is awful news. I really hope he's alright.

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

Post by Grasshopper » Nov 18 2010 12:58 pm

GTG_AZH wrote: I've never been to the Mt Peely trailhead
For all who can use the accurate GPS driving track (posted by Bruce on 11/1/10) here it is: http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?GPS=9622
(track starts off the west side of Hwy87 at top of hill ~MP222.5 and continues for 10.75mls to the I'm sure for Fri-Sunday limited parking access Peeley TH)
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by SUN_HIKER » Nov 18 2010 1:10 pm

I pray that today they will be successful in finding Joe.... It's a painful leaving the area yesterday knowing he's still out there.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by dround » Nov 18 2010 2:07 pm

I want to help out Friday Bob, I know that I can not keep up with you any where you are going, but I can carry water, food, trash or whatever from the trail head in a few miles or whatever is needed.(a secondary base ?) I am getting my back up to do any service calls for me tomorrow.

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

Post by Sarae » Nov 18 2010 3:24 pm

This is so terrible. I do hope that there is good news soon. Sending best wishes to the family, searchers, and support crew.
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir

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

Post by mazatzal » Nov 18 2010 3:33 pm

We were at the Peeley TH last Friday - 11/12. We went up Mt Catherine further along the Divide than the turn off to Sheep. We saw one backpacker who was going in to Bear Spring to work with AZT crew there (Terry Woolston?). The route up Sheep is pretty overgrown and difficult. I've made it only to the final peak before Sheep and that took most of the day. It may be worth looking on the south/east slope as you could potentially bail down that slope to intersect AZT near Thicket Spring... You could also descend to the north or west and get down to Sheep trail eventually.

I am available to help this weekend but I don't want to clog the area or be a nuisance. I know the area very well and have been hiking in the area for 25+ years.

My thoughts and best wishes go out to Joe, his family and friends.

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

Post by PaleoRob » Nov 18 2010 3:44 pm

Having never been to the area, my wife and I figured that we'd do more harm than good and get in people's way, so we're sticking to our plans for the weekend. We certainly have him (and you all that are heading out) in our thoughts, and will be checking this thread looking for updates. Hope it all ends well.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Vaporman » Nov 18 2010 4:10 pm

Sounds like a fair amour of volunteers may show up this weekend... Will there be a SAR team still in the area; someone we can talk to get an idea which areas have been looked over thoroughly and which areas that may have been only lightly searched?
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Grasshopper » Nov 18 2010 5:11 pm

laztazam wrote:It may be worth looking on the south/east slope as you could potentially bail down that slope to intersect AZT near Thicket Spring... You could also descend to the north or west and get down to Sheep trail eventually.
I am available to help this weekend but I don't want to clog the area or be a nuisance. I know the area very well and have been hiking in the area for 25+ years.
I feel now at 10 days into this, all options are on the table for search and rescue.

Joe and I hiked together on the Cornucopia TR86 and the Thicket Springs TR loop and back in Spring-2010, Joe had pretty much eliminated this area your refer to for approach, but you bring up excellent possibilities of Joe "needing to bailout" on his way back due to possible time/daylight constraints, so to me it surely seems possible that could have happened. I don't believe the SAR teams since the search start on 11/16-11/18 have been concentrating much effort to date on this scenario for possible bailout down the south/east slope of Sheep Mtn to Thicket Springs TR or to Cornucopia TR or down the north/west slopes to Sheep Trail. I have just communicated by phone with the SAR commander to express these new possibilities for more concentrated search and he will certainly consider for their Saturday return.

Thanks for your valuable input and we do hope you will consider individually helping out in the search effort for Saturday and/or Sunday.
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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

Post by SUN_HIKER » Nov 18 2010 5:56 pm

Drove up to the TH yesterday and the road was looking good. It's a steady climb and towards the end very narrow and windy road but with cautious driving you should be able to make it in a passenger car.

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

Post by Grasshopper » Nov 18 2010 6:19 pm

Updates from the field as of this Thurs-11/18pm:
(re: my recently completed phone call with the SAR team commander for Maricopia County)

...Regarding the "active search map": http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?QX=97
As of this PM most all colored GPS tracks on this reference map have now confirmed to be hiked and searched by today's 10-12 SAR team members, a helicopter, and/or by 2 canine units were brought in this AM to hike and search to the Mount Peeley Summit and explore the complete summit area. NO additional clues were found today as to assist in locating our GPSjoe; Now day 10 that he has been missing comes to a close;

...The SAR teams will take a well deserved day off tomorrow, FRI-11/19 and plan to return in same force on Saturday but with more support than today: On Saturday, the Maricopia Mountaineering team (10-15 highly qualified) will be on scene via helicopter drops to concentrate as directed to search the more rugged, dicey, areas around, up and down the slopes and cliffs of Sheep Mountain;

..Tomorrow, Fri-11/19 thru Sun-11/21 many qualified individual contributor hikers and backpackers from HAZ and AZH are welcomed and encouraged by SAR to continue the areas search individual effort. Please look for significant clues, any signs of Joe having passed the areas, and mark/take any significant waypoints for reporting to SAR (Please note: tonight the Maricopia County SAR team commander has expressed to me his concern that only well prepared, equipped, seasoned hikers, and backpackers should consider some of the more serious off trail sections in this search area per the above active search map. The off trail vegetation is very show, thick, difficult, and can be dangerous for the not qualified and prepared. Only advanced hikers should consider certain sections of the Sheep Mtn Ridgeline, its cliff sides, and the last 1/3 mile of this ridge-line before Sheep Mountain summit which is dangerous to attempt (all SAR team members were helicoptered in today who were involved in today's search on the top perimeter areas and top sides of Sheep Mountain Summit);

Thank you all and to be continued..
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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

Post by SUN_HIKER » Nov 18 2010 6:29 pm

chumley wrote:Just an added note of caution to anybody planning on joining the search this weekend. Keep an eye on the weather forecast as a pacific storm system is moving toward Arizona. For now it looks like it will result in breezy and cooler weather, with only a small chance of showers (10-30%). Snow level is expected to drop into the 7000-range. So if you're out there, be prepared for cool and wet weather, and the outside chance of an inch or two of snow across the highest peaks such as Peely and Sheep Mtn.
This just makes my heart sink. Up until now the weather has been holding out, I hope it holds off a little more.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by BobP » Nov 18 2010 6:34 pm

Hank...do you know if there is a summit register up there and if so has it been checked?
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Trishness » Nov 18 2010 6:44 pm

I've met Joe on several occasions and this is breaking my heart. I hope to get out there on Sunday to help with the volunteer S&R groups that are currently being organized.

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

Post by jdcollard » Nov 18 2010 6:57 pm

Hubby and I are free this weekend to help out...we need to head to Pinetop from the area on Sunday so we will not be able to offer a ride back to Phoenix...is there someone arranging for volunteers? Where to go, when to be there, etc.

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

Post by Grasshopper » Nov 18 2010 6:58 pm

@rlrjamy
I don't know, but I will try to remember to ask someone from SAR.. I was informed today that the SAR search team completely searched the top circumference of this peak(all were dropped in by helicopter), so I would think if one was there, they would have reported it if Joe signed in.. Also, If I had to guess for this most rugged, remote, and serious bushwhack "off trail" summit (which it looks like you and others will have a chance to see closer up tomorrow or after), I would guess "no" due to whoever would summit, if anyone really has to date, would probably not think ahead of time to have also brought a summit register with them :) .
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Tough_Boots » Nov 18 2010 7:02 pm

Grasshopper wrote:only well prepared, equipped, seasoned hikers, and backpackers should consider some of the more serious off trail sections
I'll be there on Saturday for the day and definitely playing things safe. The last thing we need is to complicate this search with someone getting lost or hurt.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Thoreau » Nov 18 2010 7:08 pm

Tough_Boots wrote:
Grasshopper wrote:only well prepared, equipped, seasoned hikers, and backpackers should consider some of the more serious off trail sections
I'll be there on Saturday for the day and definitely playing things safe. The last thing we need is to complicate this search with someone getting lost or hurt.
If i could suggest, it might be good for everyone who's planning on heading out there to have at least a basic GMRS/FRS radio either on their person, or with someone who is going to be in their group. If everyone planned to be on, say, channel 15, it could be helpful to relay information, call for assistance, etc. It's not perfect, but every little bit of extra safety would be prudent given the situation.

If there are any HAMs planning to go, we might want to coordinate frequencies in the 2m and 70cm bands as well (Not sure if any repeaters would be within range way out there. Even Mt. Ord seems to get blocked based on the maps I've seen.)

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

Post by jdcollard » Nov 18 2010 7:09 pm

I am unable to get on to the arizona hiker board...so any info from there would be appreciated.

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