Found Deceased CA - Ling Dao, 41, Hiking Mt. Whitney, 12 June 2019

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by PommyMommy, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    Inyo County Sheriff's Office

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    On Friday June 14, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified that Ling Dao a 41–year old man from Virginia had not shown up for work. According to the reporting party (and co-worker) Dao flew into Las Vegas on Tuesday June 11, had planned to summit Mt. Whitney on June 12, drive back to Las Vegas after summiting and catch a red-eye flight back to Virginia for scheduled work on June 13. After receiving the information, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office contacted the rental car company that Dao used; the SO was advised that Dao had returned the vehicle at 10:00am Friday the 14.

    Continuing calls from family regarding Dao prompted the Sheriff’s Office to contact the rental car company again – at which point differing information was provided. According to the rental car company’s updated information Dao returned his vehicle Saturday the 15 around 11:45am. A vehicle description and license plate information was requested and provided to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.

    On Saturday June 15, Dao’s rental vehicle was located in the Whitney Portal parking area. A Search and Rescue was launched and beginning early the morning of Sunday June 16 ground team members from China Lake Mountain Rescue Group began a hasty search along the Mt. Whitney trail. Conditions in the back-country are still extremely snowy with significant challenges presented by snow instability, ice, and heavy runoff.

    On Monday June 17 Inyo SAR ground team members ascended the Mt. Whitney trail in search of Ling Dao. Aerial reconnaissance is being provided by CHP-Inland Division Air Operations. Sequoia and Kings National Park is also providing support and assistance in the Dao SAR.

    To date, Inyo Sheriff has received several reports of hikers who either saw or spoken with Dao on June 12, both at the summit and during his ascent. Dao is 6’1” and 160 pounds – he is believed to be carrying a Black Diamond ice ax and brightly colored windbreaker and/or jacket. If anyone had contact with Mr. Dao after June 12 or may have seen him hiking along the Mt. Whitney trail please contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at 760-878-0383/option 4.
     
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  2. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much @PommyMommy for starting this thread :) His family is frantic. The car rental company gave them wrong info and the run around for a few days so they weren’t taken seriously at first.
     
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  3. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    You're welcome. I sure hope they find him. It's a shame that they lost valuable time but it looks like MSM is picking it up now. That will help.

    Hiker who planned to summit Mount Whitney is missing. Search underway, information wanted

    Northern Virginia man missing for several days, last seen hiking California mountain
     
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  4. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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  5. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    Do you know how experienced he is or what kind of supplies he has? I'm reading that first article... Glad to see they are using air support.

    Mount Whitney, around 14,500 feet in elevation, is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. The iconic California peak lies on the boundary of Sequoia National Park and Inyo National Forest.

    “Ground team members from China Lake Mountain Rescue Group began a hasty search along the Mt. Whitney trail,” the sheriff’s office said. “Conditions in the back-country are still extremely snowy with significant challenges presented by snow instability, ice, and heavy runoff.”

    The search is being aided by Sequoia and Kings National Park and “aerial reconnaissance” provided by California Highway Patrol.
     
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  6. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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    I saw a picture on FB where he had Black Diamond crampons and ice ax. He supposedly had hiked it twice before. The National Guard is up there with their helicopter searching for him now.
     
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  7. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    Hoping for the best but this is concerning:

    On June 15, a hiker reported to police that they had discovered a Black Diamond ice ax similar to the one used by Dao, stuck in some snow on the mountain.

    "This was a solo hike and not his first attempt on the mountain," Kimmai wrote in her post.


    Northern Virginia man missing for several days, last seen hiking California mountain
     
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  8. Herat

    Herat Well-Known Member

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    I see that a missing person post is also up on the Whitney Zone forum, a forum for those that climb Mt. Whitney and the general area.

    There is still a great deal of snow up there and at least minicrampons are required to navigate there. However with the rapidly warming conditions, there are small avalanches of very heavy wet snow and it is more dangerous that a couple of weeks ago when it was colder.

    My kudos to the SAR teams.
     
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  9. whitelilac

    whitelilac Well-Known Member

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    When I read the first article about Mr Dao's timing, I found it all very fast, too fast. Las Vegas to Whitney Portal is quite a drive : 4 or 5 hours. I assume he did that June 11 after arriving in LV. Then the climb on the 12th, and back to LV to catch the redeye to be at work on the 13th on the east coast?
    But since he is familiar with the hike/climb, I guess he knew what he was doing, and is in very good shape.
    Still...
    14K feet can also be iffy with fatigue effects, if not with symptoms of altitude sickness.

    Worried for this man, and how the conditions have been up there. Much hope he will be found ok.
     
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  10. whitelilac

    whitelilac Well-Known Member

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    some info: "The ascent time for a day hike up Mt. Whitney is a fast pace of 5 hours, a moderate time of 7-8 hours, and a slow hike of 10 hours. Going down is about 2-3 hours quicker than going up. Therefore, if you are a beginner and/or not in top physical shape it is easy to spend up to 18 hours on this "day hike."
    "The hike is about 22 mi (35 km) round trip (from Whitney Portal), with an elevation gain of over 6,100 feet (1,860 m).

    For an experienced fast paced hiker, at least 7 to 8 hours.
     
  11. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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    I would suspect this is under optimal conditions. There is still a lot of snow on the trail due to the late May snowstorms we had. There have been a couple of people who said they saw him at or near the summit and also spoke to him where he mentioned he was worried about making his return flight home on time.
     
  12. Herat

    Herat Well-Known Member

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  13. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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  14. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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    Bump!
     
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  15. HayLouise

    HayLouise Law Student

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  16. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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  17. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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    The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office just updated their FB post from yesterday.

    UPDATE June 18 – The search continues for missing man, Ling Dao. Dao was last seen, according to reports from hikers, on June 12 ascending Mt. Whitney, and at the summit of Whitney. Resources for today include: Inyo SAR, Mono SAR, China Lake Mountain Rescue, and aerial reconnaissance from CHP- Inland Division Air Operations. Additionally drone technology will be utilized to gather data on areas that are too dangerous to approach on foot. Back-country conditions include snow instability (avalanche areas, rock slide areas, ice, and areas where the snow/ice has collapsed). The search area is approximately 30 square miles of high mountain terrain.
    We encourage anyone who may have seen Dao – especially as he was descending to contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at 760-878-0383/option 4.


    June 17 - On Friday June 14, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified that Ling Dao a 41–year old man from Virginia had not shown up for work. According to the reporting party (and co-worker) Dao flew into Las Vegas on Tuesday June 11, had planned to summit Mt. Whitney on June 12, drive back to Las Vegas after summiting and catch a red-eye flight back to Virginia for scheduled work on June 13. After receiving the information, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office contacted the rental car company that Dao used; the SO was advised that Dao had returned the vehicle at 10:00am Friday the 14.
    Continuing calls from family regarding Dao prompted the Sheriff’s Office to contact the rental car company again – at which point differing information was provided. According to the rental car company’s updated information Dao returned his vehicle Saturday the 15 around 11:45am. A vehicle description and license plate information was requested and provided to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.
    On Saturday June 15, Dao’s rental vehicle was located in the Whitney Portal parking area. A Search and Rescue was launched and beginning early the morning of Sunday June 16 ground team members from China Lake Mountain Rescue Group began a hasty search along the Mt. Whitney trail. Conditions in the back-country are still extremely snowy with significant challenges presented by snow instability, ice, and heavy runoff.
    On Monday June 17 Inyo SAR ground team members ascended the Mt. Whitney trail in search of Ling Dao. Aerial reconnaissance is being provided by CHP-Inland Division Air Operations. Sequoia and Kings National Park is also providing support and assistance in the Dao SAR.
    To date, Inyo Sheriff has received several reports of hikers who either saw or spoken with Dao on June 12, both at the summit and during his ascent. Dao is 6’1” and 160 pounds – he is believed to be carrying a Black Diamond ice ax and brightly colored windbreaker and/or jacket. If anyone had contact with Mr. Dao after June 12 or may have seen him hiking along the Mt. Whitney trail please contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at 760-878-0383/option 4.

    Inyo County Sheriff's Office
     
  18. Elliot_Alderson

    Elliot_Alderson Well-Known Member

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    I just want to make sure I am reading this correctly - the car rental company gave the SO two different dates/times that the vehicle was returned, but in actuality the vehicle was never returned. Is that correct?
     
  19. kaen

    kaen Trying to be a good human.

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    Appears so.
     
  20. GraceG

    GraceG Well-Known Member

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    Given the snowpack, ice, and conditions for hiking (especially if he was hurrying to descend to catch a flight), this isn't going to end well. Praying for the safety of those who search.
     

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