UPDATE: Searchers locate body of missing hiker on Mt. Whitney
Saulo Sifuentes Escalante from Conroe, Texas was reported missing on April 15th. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office listed Escalante as a missing person after he was last seen hiking up the Main Trial on Mt Whitney last Thursday. The sheriff believes he may have planned to summit Whitney in a day.
Inyo County Search and Rescue responded and searched the area unsuccessfully Monday April 19th. On April 20, twelve Search and Rescue members called in an Army Chinook helicopter, with teams distributed from the summit down to Mirror Lake. Kings Canyon National Park was also involved, since the search area included the west side of Mt Whitney, which is in the Park.
The helicopter search was able to locate the man’s body south of the main Whitney trail at approximately 11,600’ elevation in a steep, snowy, north facing chute. The searchers report that Escalante had apparently been ascending this chute when he slipped and fell. He was 36-years old.