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Missing hiker in Mazatzals - gpsjoe (Joe Domin)

Posted: Nov 16 2010 2:04 pm
by Dschur
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

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 2:26 pm
by Al_HikesAZ
was last heard from nine days ago
Central Arizona Mountain Rescue sent out a notice a couple of hours ago so they are responding also.

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 4:20 pm
by te_wa
oh no!

the pot harvesting season is over, is safe to rule out foul play i hope.
nobody goes out to that place, and i was down in the upper reaches of Deer Creek and decided to turn back due to terrible terrain. not a place to snap an ankle..

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 5:18 pm
by CannondaleKid
The missing hiker is GPSJoe, a very active long time member on HAZ, posting 140 trip logs, 127 photo sets and 122 GPS tracks.

There is a thread on Arizona Hikers that has more details:
http://www.arizonahikers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8814

My prayers go out to Joe.

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 5:28 pm
by fricknaley
oh just horrible. :pray:

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 5:48 pm
by kevinweitzel75
Very sad news. I don't personaly know Joe, besides from his posts on here, but my prayers go out to him, his family and all his friends.

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 6:35 pm
by imike
Hopefully all will turn out well...

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 6:38 pm
by azbackpackr
I know him only from posts, too, and from a lot of p.m.s when I first got my GPS unit, he was so very helpful when I was so very confused about how to use it. This news is very, very worrisome and upsetting. I really hope they find him soon.

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 6:52 pm
by Vaporman
That's crazy! Hope everything is well... :o :scared:

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 7:02 pm
by nonot
I pray for the safety of GPS Joe, but 9 days it a long time. I cannot get out there until Fri afternoon, Sat, or Sun to help search. Would anyone be willing to run me to/from the trailhead on any of those days?

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 7:16 pm
by RedRoxx44
I too pray for his safety/survival.

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 7:27 pm
by azdesertfather
Dittos, nonot. Do we know that he has been lost in the Matzatzals 9 days tho, or just that he hasn't been home 9 days? I guess I'm grasping at straws for hope here.

Tortoise Hiker and I are planning on cover AZT segment 22 on Friday, we'll keep a lookout for him

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 7:38 pm
by Tough_Boots
nonot wrote:9 days it a long time.
That sounds like its just the last time he's been heard from. I hope he's been out there for a much shorter time.

I'm stuck in Tempe until the weekend, too, and not sure if my ride could take that road. Hopefully the search won't go on that long, but if so, I'd be down for riding along with any group heading up there to help with the search on Sat/Sun. If anyone is making plans for that, let me know.

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 8:41 pm
by suzaz
positive thoughts/prayers for Joe and family.

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 8:47 pm
by Vaporman
His recent GPS route might be a good loop to check since its in the area and he was recently working on it...
http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?GPS=9627

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 8:53 pm
by nonot
Vaporman - he finished that loop, and by his description I doubt he'd do the Davey Gowan again before it was cleared.

The news report said he could be on the Mazatzal Divide Trail or near Sheep Mtn. why the hell would it have said he could be near sheep mtn...that's way off trail. I'm hoping sun hiker can provide us with more info...if she logs on any time soon.

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 8:54 pm
by cathymocha
He is one of the more inspiring hikers on this site, my prayers are with him, his family and friends.

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 8:58 pm
by oceanwithin
How horrible to hear of this, I'm hoping he makes it out and with a story to share here on HAZ...

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 8:59 pm
by paulhubbard
Very scary indeed... Hopefully he'll have one helluva story to post here soon.

Re: Missing hiker in Mazatzals

Posted: Nov 16 2010 10:17 pm
by Grasshopper
Update on our GPSjoe (Joe Domin) as I know the details to date:
Gabriele and I finally made contact with each other on Mon-11/15 afternoon and concluded that Joe had left to do a day hike on Mon-11/8 and did not return. We soon obtained the Gila County Sheriff Dept S&R teleph# in Payson and Gabriele made the first call to start the wheels turning. I concentrated 11/15pm on taking a guess where Joe may have gone for this "only known to him" day hike route.. I guessed correctly the Peeley TH. A Gila Sheriff Dept Sergeant made the drive to Peeley TH very late 11/15pm and did confirm Joe's white 4-Runner parked at the Peeley TH (at end of FR201). All day today the Gila S&R team(from Flagstaff?) and a DPS helicopter (only for the morning) started a formal search. Most of the day today I was in phone contact with them to communicate my educated guesses regarding Joe's interest in finding an "off trail" route to summit Sheep Mountain from ~3.0mls to ~3.7mls in on the Mazatzal Divide TR23. Joe had attempted to gain the rugged north to south ridge line that runs up and downhill to the summit of Sheep Mountain.. this 11/8 attempt would have been his 4th try since late autumn of 2009. I have given the S&R teams my best guesses at Joe's possible exit waypoints on the Mazatzal Divide TR23 as well as send them a more detailed HAZ map link.. : http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?QX=81 I could be wrong with this route, and Joe could have taken a different route, but I am fairly certain that his end objective was to once again try to summit rugged with very dense vegetation- Sheep Mountain at 6996ft.

As of this writing, Joe will be missing for 9 days as of tomorrow Wed-11/17.

Late today-11/16 the S&R responsibility was transferred from Gila County to the Maricopa County S&R team. As I now understand from my recent telecom this afternoon with the S&R team commander, a complete search team- ground and DPS helicopter will be on scene from 11/17am. I believe many of the S&R team is spending the night tonight at the Peeley TH. Gabriele is in Payson spending the night with Joe's only son who flew into PHX from Chicago late this afternoon. The two of them will be driving to the Peeley TH early 11/17am to spend the day with the S&R Team. I'm recovering well from a surgery on 11/15 or I would be with them.. Please keep our GPSjoe, his family, and friends in your prayers and thoughts for a true survival miracle.