The visit a missing hiker in California’s Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks has been scaled back after no clues or leads concerning the man’s location have emerged.
National Park Service (NPS) officials said in a statement that the seek out 66-year-old Quang Trong Than has been scaled back again to “limited continuous mode,” meaning the search continues to be active but authorities are reducing the resources which have up to now been focused on it.
The search for Than is devoted to the region around Split Mountaina 14,000-foot-plus peak that lies at the boundary between Kings Canyon and Inyo National Forest.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon parks, which were jointly administered since 1943, cover a location greater than 1,300 square miles in California’s Sierra Nevada. These parks include a wide selection of ecosystems and contain several peaks over 14,000 feet high, and also giant sequoia trees.
Than, who’s from Newport Beach, California, was last seen on August 21 between 3 and 4 p.m. close to the peak of Split Mountain, based on the NPS.
He was with two others, plus they were likely to hike to the summit of Split Mountain before exiting through Inyo National Forest. Consequently, Than didn’t have any overnight gear on him.
At the bottom of the summit, Than became separated from his companions, based on the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.
“At 13,200 feet one party member waited 60-90 minutes for Quang and another party member. Quang ‘waved them on’ indicating he’d either fall behind, await them there, or head down. No plan was made,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
“Quang had stashed a helmet and jacket at Red Lake and hadn’t returned to choose it up, and another party members didn’t see him on the descent,” the statement said.
The massive search effort has involved officials from Sequoia and Kings Canyon parks, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, Inyo National Forest, Inyo County Search and Rescue, the California National Guard, Sierra Madre Search and Rescue, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department and Yosemite National Park.
Teams on the floor and in helicopters have already been looking for Than with the aid of infrared imaging, drones and dogs. Officials also have questioned hikers in your community where in fact the 66-year-old was last seen.
But based on the NPS, “no clues or leads have given any indication concerning Than’s whereabouts” at the moment.
“Than’s itinerary was extremely challenging, and few other hikers were in your community,” the NPS said.
Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team said the route that Than was taking on the mountain is “quite arduous,” having an elevation gain of around 7,500 feet over roughly 7 miles plus some “hazardous” features.
Based on the sheriff’s office, search efforts have already been made challenging by the high elevation in your community where Than was last seen and the “extremely warm weather.”
While efforts to get Than are continuing somewhat, they’ll be significantly scaled back and teams won’t be actively searching the terrain, the sheriff’s office said Wednesday. Instead, it’ll concentrate on “new clues and new sights.”
“The program is to continue steadily to review new information predicated on analysis of drone footage and respond accordingly,” any office said.
The NPS is urging anyone who was simply in your community where Than was last seen on or about August 21 to get hold of the agency’s Investigative Services at 888-653-0009 or email@example.com.
The agency described him as 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing 145 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes.
Newsweek has contacted the NPS for comment.