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Message #1647 of 4034  *NEW*
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Carol  
Body of missing hiker found in Sequoia National Park
7/15/05, 10:45am (Last Edited: 7/15/05, 10:47am)
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National Park Service
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
For Immediate Release
Friday, July 15, 2005

BODY OF MISSING HIKER FOUND IN SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK

The National Park Service has recovered the body of a missing hiker in Sequoia National Park after a short but intense search.

Eric Rausch, age 31, of Princeton, New Jersey, was reported missing Wednesday afternoon when he did not return to the Wolverton trailhead to meet his ride after a hike.

Rausch started his hike on Monday with a friend but continued alone to Emerald Lake after his friend turned back. On Tuesday, Rausch visited the backcountry ranger station at Pear Lake and talked to the ranger there about exploring the rugged high country to the east. The ranger, noting that Rausch did not have a map of the area nor a compass, advised against continuing in that direction since it required traveling off-trail.

On Wednesday afternoon, when Rausch did not meet his ride at the Wolverton Trailhead, a search was initiated. When the search that evening failed to produce the desired result, plans were made overnight for a larger and more thorough search to begin Thursday morning using a helicopter and approximately 25 National Park Service personnel.

On Thursday morning searchers located items floating in the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River that were believed to be associated with the missing party. Shortly thereafter his body was located in the stream. The body was recovered and turned over to the Tulare County Coroner's Office. The cause of the death has not been officially determined.

Because of last winter's big storms there are still substantial snowbanks in the Pear Lake area and streams are swollen with snowmelt and dangerous. Similar conditions apply in all areas of the parks above 9,000 feet. All backcountry travelers should use caution. Swimming conditions in the parks' larger streams and rivers also remain hazardous.

Rausch's death is the sixth water or snow-related fatality in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks this year.

_____________________________________

This hit close to home... I've explored "the rugged high country to the east" several times, most recently on a 5 day excursion last September. http://www.tarol.com/tablelands.html

The first pic on this page shows pretty well how rugged it is.

Here's a solo trip I did to Moose Lake back in 2000 http://www.tarol.com/mooselake.html

But, both times, I had a map and compass and had talked to many people who had hiked back there and I knew what the lay of the land was like and what to expect.

Be careful out there everyone!

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The mountains are calling and I must go. ~ John Muir ~ www.tarol.com
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Message #1677 of 4034  *NEW*
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Carol's Nonsensical Whatnot Thread
Guest39602 (IP: 66.160.87.41)
Body of missing hiker found in Sequoia National Park
7/25/05, 4:01pm
Hi. Thank you for providing this press release. I am a close friend of Erik Rauch (I have corrected the spelling). Yes, the details surrounding his death are still unclear, days following his memorial. Carol, thank you for providing this friendly blog! Dawn

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Message #1689 of 4034  *NEW*
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Guest39602 (IP: 66.160.87.41)
Carol  
Re: Body of missing hiker found in Sequoia National Park
7/28/05, 10:25am
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>Hi. Thank you for providing this press release. I am a close
>friend of Erik Rauch (I have corrected the spelling). Yes,
>the details surrounding his death are still unclear, days
>following his memorial. Carol, thank you for providing this
>friendly blog! Dawn

Hi, Dawn, I'm so sorry for your loss. Like I said, this hit close to home. I was a ranger stationed at Lodgepole for two summers and I hiked frequently in that area where Erik died. I now work about 2 hours away but I still get up there now and then to go hiking. Just last September I was up there on a 5-day backpacking trip with 3 friends. It's beautiful country and I understand why someone would be tempted to explore it as I have done so myself. But the backcountry has risks and I'm always sorry to hear when a fellow hiker gets hurt or dies back there.

Anyway, I hope every one of Erik's friends and family members finds some peace, I know it must be hard when the details are still unclear.

Take care,
Carol

--------------------------------------------------------
The mountains are calling and I must go. ~ John Muir ~ www.tarol.com
--------------------------------------------------------

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