The National Park Service is asking the public for help in locating a missing 74-year-old Manhattan Beach man who was last seen hiking high in the Kings Canyon National Park near Bishop amid snow and freezing temperatures.
Park officials were notified about Robert “Bob” Woodie’s disappearance on Tuesday, according to Zach Behrens of the National Park Service.
The experienced hiker, who was familiar with the area, was expected back from his backpacking trip, which he began on Oct. 13, on Sunday.
Woodie’s intended route of travel may have been from South Lake, outside of Bishop, into the park via Bishop Pass, Behrens said.
Woodie was possibly at Barrett Lakes, southeast of Dusy Basin, on Saturday night, based on an electronic check-in message received from his satellite message device, Behrens said.
The area experienced some inclement weather during the time Woodie was hiking there, with some areas above 10,500 feet receiving snow, Behrens said, adding overnight temperatures continue to be below freezing.
Woodie is described as white, 5-feet-5 inches tall, with brown hair, brown eyes and weighing around 150 pounds.
He was possibly carrying a blue shell type jacket, a baseball cap or floppy hat, and boots, Behrens said. He was reported to have an internal frame backpack, possibly blue in color, and no hiking poles.
Two helicopters and 20 field personnel participated in park search operations Wednesday, with operations planned for Thursday, Behrens said.
The area is a high sierra alpine environment, between approximately 8,000 and 12,000 feet elevation. The rugged terrain includes areas of forest, alpine lakes, and areas above tree line with talus slopes and rocky mountain passes, Behrens said.
The search and rescue efforts were being coordinated with the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, which is simultaneously performing search operations adjacent to the park boundary within Inyo National Forest, Behrens said.
Anyone who may have come across Woodie, has any other information about his whereabouts, or was in the park area since Oct. 13, was urged to contact Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks at (559) 565-3117 with their name and contact information.
—City News Service