Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

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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 Tough_Boots » Nov 18 2010 7:20 pm

jdcollard wrote:I am unable to get on to the arizona hiker board...so any info from there would be appreciated
A crew from AZH is going up Saturday morning and car camping Saturday night for a two day search. I'll just be up for Saturday but everyone is meeting at a gravel turn-off a little over a mile off the 87 on the way to the TH in case there's no parking and we need to shuttle. Everyone is meeting at 7am on saturday.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by SUN_HIKER » Nov 18 2010 7:24 pm

@rlrjamy
What time are you planning on being at the TH and how many others have signed up?

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

Post by azbackpackr » Nov 18 2010 7:34 pm

AZH was off but came back on again.

As for the peak register, I believe most remote peaks are more likely to have them, not less likely. Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Desert Peaks Section takes care of that. Often well-hidden.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Post by nonot » Nov 18 2010 7:40 pm

sirdubious wrote:nonot, any replies to your request?? I might be available Fri thru Sunday. Let me know.

I have a high clearance Toyota Tacoma 4x4.

I have a GPS, and all other necessary gear.
I believe there will be quite a few people showing up Saturday morning between 5 and 8 AM to search for Joe. Due to limited parking near the Peely trailhead, I suggest that if possible, people consider leaving vehicles out of the way where the pavement ends and FR201 begins, carpooling the rest of the way to the trailhead. If the SAR team brings in horses again they will need most of the road.

If anyone who has been out there can indicate whether the SAR teams are having trouble with parking, it would be appreciated - I saw at least one comment where someone had to leave to get out of the way of the horse trailers...
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by BobP » Nov 18 2010 7:47 pm

@SUN_HIKER
We should be there around 7am or maybe a little earlier...there are 6 of us.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Nov 18 2010 7:49 pm

It is good to see so many of you volunteering and the apparent willingness of the SAR folks in charge to accept you.

I would recommend two things for this weekend search effort:
1) A shuttle service to the basecamp/trailhead for all this potential traffic on the road in and out.
2) A beefed up medical team at the base camp to meet any emergency medical needs of the searchers.

Scratch the above and see the later posting from David the head of the SAR team conducting the search.

Lets let them do the job they are trained for, for at least this weekend......
Last edited by SuperstitionGuy on Nov 18 2010 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by te_wa » Nov 18 2010 7:51 pm

there are also numerous places for 1-3 vehicles to park about 1.5, 2, and 4 miles from the trailhead. along 201, a couple of spots would hold several cars. i'll take a peek at the map and try to locate these areas.
:D

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

Post by nonot » Nov 18 2010 8:09 pm

Someone has asked about camping a little ways away from the Peely TH. If I remember correctly there are some excellent car camping spots not very far on FR25, which would place you approximately 10-12 miles away from the TH. Te-wa knows the area I am talking about, I simply remember him pointing it out when we were there.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Shi » Nov 18 2010 8:18 pm

God speed and safety to all searching! Joe has been a big part of my hiking experiences, I only wish I could make it this weekend!
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by te_wa » Nov 18 2010 8:24 pm

that area has always been called "slate creek divide" although, i have not seen any slate creek in person, and i dont know what divide they are talking about either. anyway, a passenger car can do the first several miles of fr25, until it crosses the creek and uphill to Mormon Grove.

otherwise, if you continue on 201 past fr25, there is a flattish area on top of a bald with room for many.
:D

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

Post by JimmyLyding » Nov 18 2010 8:59 pm

There is room for at least 2 dozen cars on the right side of FR 201 just after it leaves FR 627. >>> View Map <<<
The Slate Creek Divide is marked on the side of the Beeline SR 87. The south side is marked by the road to the top of Mount Ord, and the north side is marked by FR 627 labeled "Sycamore Creek." FR 201 to the Peeley TH branches off of 627 less than a mile from the highway.
I've been in this area many times, and if you think Joe headed south of Sheep Mountain then you may want to check out the following HAZ hikes:
- Little Saddle Mountain
- Saddle Mountain Mine Tour
- Saddle Mountain via Mormon Grove
- Copper Camp Loop

There are also the Saddle Mountain Easy Mines GPS routes.
FR 25A heads along the East Fork of Sycamore Creek up to the base of Mount Peeley before it ends near the Cornucopia Mine. A 4WD vehicle should be able to make it near 25A's terminus, and there may be parking near the blue van: http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=117611 for a GPS location. It is possible that Joe tried to head south from Sheep Mountain through the McFarland Canyon drainage south towards the Cross F Ranch, and the Copper Creek route is near there. McFarland Canyon is between Saddle Mountain and Sheep Mountain, and drains into the East Fork of Sycamore Creek. The multi-canyon headwaters of Sheep Creek on the west-ish side of Sheep Mountain might also be worthwhile places to look.

*edit* FR 627 is also labeled FR 626 on some maps
Last edited by JimmyLyding on Nov 18 2010 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by MtnResq30 » Nov 18 2010 9:12 pm

Hike AZ folks,
My name is David Bremson of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Mountain Rescue/ Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association. We are the primary team involved in the search for Joe (with outstanding assistance from Gila County/TRSAR).
It seems as though many of you would like to venture in to the area to search for Joe. Although we can not restrict you from doing so, please be aware of the following issues:
-As untrained searchers, it is likely that you could destroy any evidence of his presence by being in the area.
-The area is very challenging, do not go somewhere that is hazardous. We don't want anyone to get injured as this will delay the on-going search.
-If you do decide to search for him and you find him, please do not approach him or touch him or his equipment in any way. This will inhibit our ability to conduct an investigation in to the incident.
-If you do find him, contact the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office immediately and mark the location with your gps. Return to the trailhead and wait for a responding Deputy.
-I recommend that you wait until after the weekend as we will have many resources in the area and need access to the trailhead, which is very small and has limited parking. We also may need it to land our helicopter. If your vehicle is in the parking lot, we will not be able to use it.
It is great to see how close knit this community is and how you want to support a fellow hiker and his family. This would be a better place if everyone cared as much.
David Bremson
Mountain Rescue

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

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Nov 18 2010 9:56 pm

David - thanks for the great advice. I know it's tough for us that know Joe, but folks "First do no harm". The MCSOSR/CAMRA team has trained trackers working this. They can spot clues that most people might miss. A freshly broken branch might be the clue that finds Joe. If we have people bushwhacking drainages in the prime area, we could actually be making it harder to find Joe.

I am very conflicted in this. Yes I would love to go in there and find Joe and help him out - and please don't hate me for this - but I feel that we should give the trained folks more time to do what they are trained to do. Yes there's a chance we could help, but there is just as much of a chance that we could make finding Joe tougher. If Joe found water, he can last 2 weeks without food - although he could be disoriented or delirious. Check out water sources and seeps in secondary areas before bushwhacking through prime area. Take binoculars and glass the prime area without disturbing it. And pray.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by PrestonSands » Nov 18 2010 10:10 pm

GTG_AZH wrote: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.
Below is a map of Forest Road 201, with some campsites marked on it. Parking at Mount Peeley Trailhead is extremely limited. It's probably best to save the trailhead area for the exclusive use of the Search and Rescue crews.
Peeley Map.jpg
FR 201 campsites
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by cactuscat » Nov 18 2010 10:21 pm

I have been out hiking and playing for the last few days - just got home, and am very saddened by this. I have always worried about this happening to one of us. I will be keeping Joe and his family in my thoughts - and the searchers, too ... it is heart warming to see all of you making this effort. I wish I could join you. What a great group of people we have here ... I feel blessed to be a part of it.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by PrestonSands » Nov 18 2010 10:59 pm

Like laztazam said...
Having considered hiking Sheep Mountain myself in the past, if I had made it to the summit and was looking for an easier/faster return hike to the Peeley Trailhead due to difficulty of the mountain crest or shortage of daylight, I would seriously consider descending to the Thicket Spring Trail. Joe would have only had a slim crescent moon illuminating the area on the night on the 8th.

A good view of the terrain on the south side of Sheep Mountain and Mount Peeley: http://hikearizona.com/t2010/05/02/O_34 ... 126-15.jpg
Sheep Mountain.jpg
Sheep Mtn descent route?
As Al_HikesAZ wrote:
A freshly broken branch might be the clue that finds Joe. If we have people bushwhacking drainages in the prime area, we could actually be making it harder to find Joe.
A very good point Al.

Keep praying for Joe.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by Paintninaz » Nov 18 2010 11:06 pm

Al_HikesAZ wrote:David - thanks for the great advice. I know it's tough for us that know Joe, but folks "First do no harm". The MCSOSR/CAMRA team has trained trackers working this. They can spot clues that most people might miss. A freshly broken branch might be the clue that finds Joe. If we have people bushwhacking drainages in the prime area, we could actually be making it harder to find Joe.

I am very conflicted in this. Yes I would love to go in there and find Joe and help him out - and please don't hate me for this - but I feel that we should give the trained folks more time to do what they are trained to do. Yes there's a chance we could help, but there is just as much of a chance that we could make finding Joe tougher. If Joe found water, he can last 2 weeks without food - although he could be disoriented or delirious. Check out water sources and seeps in secondary areas before bushwhacking through prime area. Take binoculars and glass the prime area without disturbing it. And pray.
I understand your conflict. Yes, the trained teams can spot clues, etc. and as you say, if Joe found water, he can survive without food for 2 weeks...that would all be great if we were talking about a person 48 hours overdue. But the reality of the situation is Joe will have been missing 12 days on Saturday. SAR, from what they've told us, hasn't found any signs him. They've checked the waypoints provided. Even tomorrow or Saturday, a second or third pair of extra eyes can never hurt. That only leaves outside areas which haven't been combed...detours, other slopes, drainages Joe may have entered to reduce time back to his truck. Heck, for all we know he opted to bushwack a new route to add to his collection of attempts to the summit, that we aren't even aware of!

I think, this late in the game...the more eyes the better wins over. I know the hikers heading out are quite capable and they also know their limitations, the last thing anyone wants to do is become an added burden. I believe they will search carefully, and keep David's points in mind (because they are valid concerns) yes, a broken branch on Saturday may make it harder next Tuesday to put pieces together, but if it means potentially finding Joe on Saturday, I think at this point it's worth the risk (just my opinion)

If SAR gives direction to these volunteers, I know they are willing to search anywhere. This is a vast rugged area, Joe's been out there for almost 2 weeks, he needs help, the more people searching the better. We need to bring Joe home. :pray:
Paintninaz

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

Post by sirena » Nov 19 2010 12:23 am

Wow. I've been out hiking and am so sorry to hear about this. I will contact Terry Woolston, AZT segment steward for the Mazatzals, and ask if he or any of his crew saw anything.
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Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Post by suzaz » Nov 19 2010 4:46 am

Thanks to David for finding us, jumping in this thread and telling us a few things we all needed to know.

I agree with Paint. We all need to be there for Joe, the sooner the better, the weather for Sunday looks like it will bring a significant change. We simply need to shuttle. I'll volunteer to do that on Sunday if we can't find a non-hiker to do that.

Perhaps we can re-search the areas that have already been covered?? It's my understanding that a "covered area" typically means 25% of it has been visually seen.

I have heard that SAR may not be able to give us "direction" for liability reasons.

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

Post by MtnResq30 » Nov 19 2010 5:54 am

All,

Many of you have presented some good points, most of which we have already considered and acted upon. It shows that you have good experience and are knowledgable in the area. However, several years ago, in Canada, a young boy was missing and 6000 "volunteers" showed up to "help". This onslaught of well intentioned people only created confusion, destroyed any possible clues and actually significantly delayed finding the boy to the point that it may have cost him his life.

If you still insist on going to the area, please do so in a very coordinated effort. Park in one location and have ONE representative from your group go to the Command Post. Depending upon the work load, we may be able to provide some guidance. Please be patient because the primary focus is finding Joe, keeping our teams safe and allowing them to work effectively.

If you truly want to help, I highly recommend that you seek out your local SAR or Mountain Rescue Team and join. We recruit one time per year, and after an extensive selection process bring on the very best that we can. We want people with significant backcountry experience and the desire to work hard to help others in need. I'm not turning this in to a "pitch", but if you really want to contribute, this is the best way to do it. http://www.mountainrescue.org for more info.

David Bremson
Operations Chief, WEMT
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Mountain Rescue / Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association

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