Wednesday, June 19, 2019

INTERAGENCY NEWS RELEASE- Body of Missing Hiker Found on North Slope of Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park

 
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

       




Inyo County Sherriff's Office



INTERAGENCY NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Reference Number: 8550-1923
Contact: Sintia Kawasaki-Yee
Public Information Officer
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
E-mail: sintia_kawasaki-yee@nps.gov
Phone: 559-679-2866
Contact: Carma Roper
Public Information Officer
Inyo County Sherriff's Office
E-mail: croper@inyocounty.us
 Missing Hiker Found on North Slope of Mt. Whitney in
Sequoia National Park
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. June 19, 2019 - The body of missing hiker Ling Dao was located Tuesday afternoon on the north side of Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park and transported to the Ash Mountain Helibase in Sequoia National Park, where he was turned over to the Tulare County Coroner’s Office. Cause of death is under investigation. 

Dao was reported missing to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, June 14 after not reporting for work. According to the reporting party, 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 home, to be at work on Thursday, June 13.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office contacted the rental car company that Dao used and was advised that Dao had returned his vehicle at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 14, but after continuing calls from family regarding Dao, the sheriff’s office decided to contact the rental company again, at which point differing information was provided. According to the rental car company’s updated information Dao had returned his vehicle on Saturday, June 15 around 11:45 a.m. A vehicle description and license plate information was requested and provided to the sheriff’s office, and later that day the rental vehicle was located in the Whitney Portal parking area, prompting search and rescue efforts to begin early on Sunday, June 16.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ staff was contacted to assist with search operations on Sunday, June 16. Park staff confirmed that day that Dao was not listed in the Mt. Whitney register. Search efforts were halted on June 17 due to unsafe weather conditions. On June 18 park staff received notification that the point last seen for Dao had been the summit of Mt. Whitney, at which point search by aircraft continued in the area, and the body was found and recovered.

The search area was approximately 30 square miles of high mountain terrain. The search teams included staff from Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Inyo Search and Rescue, Mono Search and Rescue, China Lake Mountain Rescue, and aerial reconnaissance from CHP- Inland Division Air Operations, as well as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Back-country conditions can still be hazardous this time of year with snow instability, ice, rock slide areas, and more. For current trail conditions please visit our website www.nps.gov/seki.
 - ### -
About Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
These two parks, which lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada in Central California, preserve prime examples of nature’s size, beauty, and diversity. Over 2 million visitors from across the U.S. and the world visit these parks to see the world’s largest trees (by volume), grand mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, the highest point in the lower 48 states, and more. Learn more at www.nps.gov/seki.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks | 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, Ca, 93271
FAX: 559 565-3730 | Phone: 559-565-3341 | www.nps.gov/seki

INTERAGENCY NEWS RELEASE- Body of Missing Hiker Found on North Slope of Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park

 
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

       




Inyo County Sherriff's Office



INTERAGENCY NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Reference Number: 8550-1923
Contact: Sintia Kawasaki-Yee
Public Information Officer
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
E-mail: sintia_kawasaki-yee@nps.gov
Phone: 559-679-2866
Contact: Carma Roper
Public Information Officer
Inyo County Sherriff's Office
E-mail: croper@inyocounty.us
 Missing Hiker Found on North Slope of Mt. Whitney in
Sequoia National Park
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. June 19, 2019 - The body of missing hiker Ling Dao was located Tuesday afternoon on the north side of Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park and transported to the Ash Mountain Helibase in Sequoia National Park, where he was turned over to the Tulare County Coroner’s Office. Cause of death is under investigation. 

Dao was reported missing to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, June 14 after not reporting for work. According to the reporting party, 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 home, to be at work on Thursday, June 13.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office contacted the rental car company that Dao used and was advised that Dao had returned his vehicle at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 14, but after continuing calls from family regarding Dao, the sheriff’s office decided to contact the rental company again, at which point differing information was provided. According to the rental car company’s updated information Dao had returned his vehicle on Saturday, June 15 around 11:45 a.m. A vehicle description and license plate information was requested and provided to the sheriff’s office, and later that day the rental vehicle was located in the Whitney Portal parking area, prompting search and rescue efforts to begin early on Sunday, June 16.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ staff was contacted to assist with search operations on Sunday, June 16. Park staff confirmed that day that Dao was not listed in the Mt. Whitney register. Search efforts were halted on June 17 due to unsafe weather conditions. On June 18 park staff received notification that the point last seen for Dao had been the summit of Mt. Whitney, at which point search by aircraft continued in the area, and the body was found and recovered.

The search area was approximately 30 square miles of high mountain terrain. The search teams included staff from Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Inyo Search and Rescue, Mono Search and Rescue, China Lake Mountain Rescue, and aerial reconnaissance from CHP- Inland Division Air Operations, as well as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Back-country conditions can still be hazardous this time of year with snow instability, ice, rock slide areas, and more. For current trail conditions please visit our website www.nps.gov/seki.
 - ### -
About Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
These two parks, which lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada in Central California, preserve prime examples of nature’s size, beauty, and diversity. Over 2 million visitors from across the U.S. and the world visit these parks to see the world’s largest trees (by volume), grand mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, the highest point in the lower 48 states, and more. Learn more at www.nps.gov/seki.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks | 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, Ca, 93271
FAX: 559 565-3730 | Phone: 559-565-3341 | www.nps.gov/seki

Thursday, May 23, 2019

NEWS RELEASE- 2019 Memorial Day Weekend in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks


National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks News Release
For Immediate Release                               
Contact: Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, Public Affairs Officer
Media Contact: (559) 565-3131
E-mail: sintia_kawasaki-yee@nps.gov
  Reference Number: 8550-1917
2019 Memorial Day Weekend in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, California May 23, 2019 – Memorial Day weekend is considered to be the summer kick-off for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, but this year visitors can expect snow, rain and chilly temperatures in some areas of the parks. Campground availability will also be extremely limited due to hazard tree removal and late snow, with only about 42% of campsites typically open this time of year. Trip planning prior to visiting is highly recommended for a safe and enjoyable visit.

Campgrounds
Most campgrounds require advance reservations through www.Recreation.gov. Please be advised that campsites are limited and will fill up quickly, typically by Friday before Memorial Day. The only place to check whether walk-up sites are still available is the Campground Information Boards located near the entrance of each campground. There you will find a list of any available sites along with registration procedures.
 
Sequoia National Park
Open Campgrounds:
Buckeye Flat Campground, Potwisha Campground, Lodgepole Campground Sites 61-68 and 151-214 (all reservations only)

Closed Campgrounds: 
Dorst Creek Campground, Atwell Mill Campground, Cold Springs Campground
 
Kings Canyon National Park
Crystal Springs Campground, Canyon View Campground (reservations only), Sentinel Campground (reservations only), Moraine Campground
 
Closed Campgrounds:
Azalea Campground, Sunset Campground, Sheep Creek Campground
 
Some campgrounds listed as currently closed will be opening in the next few weeks, but are delayed due to hazard tree mitigation and unsafe winter conditions. To check what campgrounds will be open during your travel dates, visit www.nps.gov/seki/campground-opening-schedule.htm.
 
Winter Storm Conditions
Weather forecasts for this holiday weekend call for heavy snow and temperatures as low as 34 degrees at around 6,700 feet in elevation. Visitors entering the Sequoia entrance on Hwy 198 might experience cloudy 70-degree weather, but just 45 minutes up the road be required to have tire chains for winter storm conditions. Roads and facilities that are typically open this time of year may be closed due to unsafe conditions. Conditions can change frequently throughout the day, and we encourage everyone to check current conditions online at www.nps.gov/seki or call the main park line 559-565-3341 (dial 1, then 1 again) for the most current weather and road conditions. 
 
Traffic Congestion
Starting Memorial Day weekend and through the summer, long lines of cars have extended from the entrance stations. On the busiest days cars have waited in line for over an hour to get through. Parking in most areas of the parks has also become crowded. To avoid long waiting periods it is recommended to arrive prior to 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m. and have your method of payment ready when you arrive at the gate. Having snacks, water, and a full tank of gas is also recommended.

The Sequoia Shuttle is a great way to have a more enjoyable park experience. The Sequoia Shuttle runs from Visalia to the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park (via Hwy 198). The $20 reservation cost includes your entrance fee. For information and reservations visit www.sequoiashuttle.com or call 877-287-4453.

Once in the park, free shuttles will take you from the Giant Forest area to Lodgepole, Wuksachi and back. Driving your own vehicle from site to site increases traffic congestion and pollution. Shuttles are free and most operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please check the park newspaper or website for up-to-date shuttle information and times.
 
Visitors are encouraged to purchase their park pass online prior to visiting. This will save time at the entrance gate. Visit www.Recreation.gov/pass.

On weekends and holidays, and during winter storms, Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road is closed to personal vehicles. Access that area by shuttle, bicycle, or on foot.
 
River Safety
Visitors are urged to enjoy areas of the park that are away from rivers. Getting in the river or going near it could create a life or death situation. Snow melt is causing creeks and rivers to rise, and rocks along the edges can be slick and slippery. Even the best swimmers can find themselves in a difficult situation under the current cold, swift, and dangerous water conditions.
 
Wilderness Travel
The wilderness permit quota season starts Friday, May 24. Only a limited number of people may begin overnight trips on each trail each day. Wilderness visitors without reservations who hope to obtain a walk-up permit should be flexible with their trip plans, especially for popular destinations.
 
The snow pack in the parks remains significant. This means wilderness travelers should be prepared for snow and ice hazards on all high elevation trails including the High Sierra Trail, John Muir Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Mount Whitney Trails. Losing footing on snow and ice can result in falls causing serious injury or death. 
 
Bears
It is very important that visitors not approach bears of any size and store food properly. Bears can grab unattended food or easily break into cars that have food in them. They become bold and sometimes aggressive in attempts to get more. All food or anything with a scent must be stored and out of sight, and trash must be disposed of in bear-resistant cans and dumpsters.  

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks wish everyone a fun and safe holiday weekend. 
 
For more trip planning information and the latest updates please visit our website, www.nps.gov/seki.
Photo above: Campsite in Potwisha Campground at about 2080 feet in elevation taken 5/23/19.
Photo above: Campsite in Lodgepole Campground at about 6720 feet in elevation taken 5/21/19.
Both campgrounds pictured above are in Sequoia National Park, and only about a 45 minute drive from one another. The extreme elevation range in our parks allows visitors to experience a variety of climates and habitats!
 - NPS -
About Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
These two parks, which lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada in Central California, preserve prime examples of nature’s size, beauty, and diversity. Over 2 million visitors from across the U.S. and the world visit these parks to see the world’s largest trees (by volume), grand mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, the highest point in the lower 48 states, and more. Learn more at http://www.nps.gov/seki or 559-565-3341.
- ### -
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks 
47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271
559-565-3341 | www.nps.gov/seki