Nearly two weeks ago 52-year-old Matthew Hanson started his solo backpacking trip in the Sierra. When he didn't return, search and rescue crews immediately took action.
Just before 3:30 p.m. Monday, crews spotted shoe tracks in the area of Cathedral Lake. Crews inside a CHP helicopter found Hanson not too far from the tracks. Officials said he was able to walk to rescue crews when they arrived. They said it appears he's in good condition.
In the meantime, crews are still keeping busy searching for another hiker, 53-year-old Larry Conn. He was due back from a hike in Kings Canyon National Park, last Monday, but has yet to return. Search and rescue crews are combing through the area in hopes of finding him.
Before heading out a number of them made a quick stop at Herb Bauer Sporting Goods in Fresno. “The search and rescue crews that I was talking to today were getting gear to start their search, or continue their search. They were saying that they hope the guy stayed on the path that he was planning on going because that's where they were going to go look,” said Scott Shively, hiking expert and camping manager at Herb Bauer.
“The fall is kind of an interesting time because the weather might be great one day and then crazy the next day. That's certainly is what has happened to the crew that's up there that's now lost,” added Shively. He says signal mirrors, whistles, matches, emergency strobe lights and maps are must haves when hiking.
“Things like emergency set-ups, emergency blankets, emergency sacks folded down into a small package like this allows you with or without a sleeping bag to crawl inside and possibly survive the night,” said Shively.
He says it's also important to fill out a wilderness form to let rangers know which trail you'll be taking.
Shively added, “Your goal is to make it as easy as it could be for you to be found, but staying alive in the cold nights is a big challenge.”