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Search Expands for Missing Hiker On Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park


Searchers planned to expand their efforts Friday to find a 73-year-old hiker who set out on a day hike to the summit of Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park.

Kenneth "Wade" Brunette set out for the summit of the 14,494-foot peak on Sunday. An official search was launched Tuesday. According to a release from the park, searchers on Friday would be looking on both sides of the Sierra Nevada crest for Mr. Brunette.

Search and rescue personnel (including ground searchers and dog teams) from Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon national parks and rescue teams from Inyo, Mono, Los Angeles, Fresno, Tulare, Sierra Madre, Montrose, and Contra Costa counties were also involved. Helicopters from the National Park Service and the California Highway Patrol also were being utilized for aerial searching and for team transport into the remote backcountry area.

Anyone who was in the backcountry area around Whitney Portal, the Mt. Whitney summit, or the areas in Sequoia National Park around Crabtree Meadow or Mt. Russell are asked to contact investigators whether or not they saw someone matching Mr. Brunette’s description.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: 559/565-3195

Inyo County Sheriff’s Department: 760/878-0383


There are also valuable services out there that help anyone who heads out hiking (or anything) alone. One I have found is called where you can check out with details of your hike and when you plan on coming back. If you do not check in, SafeCheckIn will notify your emergency contacts and/ or the search and rescue.
While many of us have people who would notice our overdue status, there are many who have no close friends or family to tell where they are going. The service is private and can a be a great back up to GPS and cell phones...batteries do die and what happens if you cannot use your high tech device in an emergency?

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