More photos of our search are here.
|Overview of our search area with Slaughterhouse and Muldoon Canyons. |
Bellevue is the green area in the bottom left corner.
Each ground search team was equipped with a radio, GPS, 4-wheel drive vehicle, and SPOT. HQ was keeping an eye on our progress via our SPOTs.
We searched extremely steep terrain all morning and afternoon...it was so thick and forested in places that we were concerned about becoming casualties ourselves if we twisted an ankle while slipping over a log or deadfall. The search was very slow, and it was a good thing my team of 2 was restricted to a 1/4-mile radius search zone, as we could only cover a few meters at a time.
|Bob's and my search area in Muldoon Canyon. The intent was to|
start with the perimeter of our search zone and spiral in.
It was super hot and dry and we were going through our water quickly, and I was imagining what Guy was going through if he was having to hike through such terrain. On the other hand, him being mobile would be much better than hanging in a tree for 2 days, or sitting immobile due to a broken leg or pelvis. We were looking for anything...a piece of paraglider, clothing, footprints, even a discarded apple core, anything to show he had been this way. But in the end we found nada, and it looked like he wasn't in our search zone.
At this point we got the call that Guy's paraglider had been found, and to return to HQ. Further information when we returned to debrief was that he had crashed his paraglider on the side of a hill, no reserve deployed, and had crawled/walked downhill (leaving his gear behind) for 1-2 miles. When found he was still mobile but had multiple broken bones. Good news though was that he still had at least a liter of water left on him so had possibly found a stream over the past 48 hours.
Guy is currently undergoing surgery and is expected to be OK! Personally I'm so happy right now I could burst! I've been involved in too many other searches and fatalities in the past few months and I wasn't sure if I could handle #3 in such a short period of time. A big thanks to all the other searchers (maybe 50 in total) and the administrative personnel such as Zak who made things happen until the sheriff's office took over. It's incidents such as this that makes me realize how awesome and tight-knit our community is...what we do is dangerous and it's important that we all look out for each other! I'm so proud of my fellow searchers!