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#209040 - 10/05/10 12:47 AM Idaho Survival Story in the Making
ponder Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 367
Loc: American Redoubt
Story Updated: Oct 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM PDT

Grangeville – A Lucile man, Todd Hofflander, 40, was still missing Saturday, after he went on a hike between Windy Saddle and McCaffee Cabin Tuesday and did not arrive by noon Tuesday as anticipated.

Some of the party he was with hiked a few miles up the trail, but were unsuccessful in finding him.

Back Country Medics out of Orofino have been assisting in the search. A helicopter and pilot from Hillcrest Aircraft Co. returned to the rugged area southwest of Riggins Friday to assist the Idaho County Sheriff's Department by shuttling searchers and doing grid searches for Hofflander.

Back Country flew grid searches of Bernard Creek, Bills Creek, Lightning Creek, the east and west branches of Sheep Creek, McCaffee Basin and Bear Basin.

An Incident Command post was set up at Heavens Gate Lookout and is being manned by personnel from the sheriff's departments of Idaho and Clearwater counties. A meeting was scheduled to discuss plans for Saturday’s operations. Back Country Medics will be returning to the area Saturday as requested.

In addition to other ground searchers from throughout the region, dog teams from both Idaho and Clearwater counties' Search and Rescue teams have been working to find Hofflander.

Officials say the search is challenging due to the very rough, steep terrain with elevations that vary from 8,000 to 1,500 feet above sea level in short distances. The area is between Riggins and Snake River's Hells Canyon.


http://mapper.acme.com/
STARTING: N45.349509 W116.512113
GOAL: N45.40083 W116.61279

The terrain bodes ill will for Hofflander. If he takes one wrong fork, he is caught in a gravity trap that flows out Sheep Creek. That is one nasty survival hike. A week has passed. He must focus on water and one step at a time. If he is forced nown Sheep Creek, his odds are poor.
_________________________
Cliff Harrison
PonderosaSports.com
Horseshoe Bend, ID
American Redoubt
N43.9668 W116.1888

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#209043 - 10/05/10 01:22 AM Re: Idaho Survival Story in the Making [Re: ponder]
BigToe Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 81
What do you mean by gravity trap, Cliff?
_________________________
Men have become the tools of their tools.
Henry David Thoreau

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#209044 - 10/05/10 01:31 AM Re: Idaho Survival Story in the Making [Re: BigToe]
ponder Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 367
Loc: American Redoubt
Originally Posted By: BigToe
What do you mean by gravity trap, Cliff?


Gravity lulls you to sleep by the ease of your hike. After many miles in the bottom of a canyon, you eventually run into a vertical drop. Too tired to reverse and go back up, over you go.
_________________________
Cliff Harrison
PonderosaSports.com
Horseshoe Bend, ID
American Redoubt
N43.9668 W116.1888

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#209046 - 10/05/10 01:38 AM Re: Idaho Survival Story in the Making [Re: ponder]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2693
Loc: Big Sky Country
A week already? Man, I sure hope he's found alive and in one peice but that's quite awhile. Even pretty well equipped a week in that type of terrain would be challenging. Does anyone know if he was carrying camping gear or anything?
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#209048 - 10/05/10 01:43 AM Re: Idaho Survival Story in the Making [Re: Phaedrus]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2693
Loc: Big Sky Country
Here's another link to the story of the ongoing efforts. He was on a 4 day trip and had a backpack, so presumably he had some gear. The family say he's an experienced outdoorsman- hopefully that translates into having the gear & skills to make it. His dog is with him (wearing a red doggie pack) and it hasn't been found, either. That might be a good sign.

Of course, there's this:

Hofflander says her husband set out on a four-day hike with friends in the rugged area of Seven Devils. But on the fourth day, Sept. 27, the group split up, and Hofflander hasn't been seen since.

"Monday morning they split up because my husband's knee was bothering them and they were supposed to meet down at the river and my husband never showed up down at the river," she said.

Hofflander says the group thought her husband was capable of making it on his own, otherwise they wouldn't have left him. She now thinks her husband started to make his way toward the meeting place, but possibly turned around because of the injury.


That's some great thinking there! Hmmm...I'm injured...hey, I know guys! Let's split up! confused
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#209051 - 10/05/10 02:24 AM Re: Idaho Survival Story in the Making [Re: ponder]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC

That dog will stay with him to the end and beyond.

Just said a prayer for both of them, their family and the search and rescue teams.

Isn't that grizzly and wolf country?

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#209052 - 10/05/10 02:29 AM Re: Idaho Survival Story in the Making [Re: Dagny]
ponder Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 367
Loc: American Redoubt
Originally Posted By: Dagny

Isn't that grizzly and wolf country?


Neither in this area.
_________________________
Cliff Harrison
PonderosaSports.com
Horseshoe Bend, ID
American Redoubt
N43.9668 W116.1888

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#209053 - 10/05/10 02:46 AM Re: Idaho Survival Story in the Making [Re: ponder]
ponder Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 367
Loc: American Redoubt
A total drop of over 6000' with a bunch of up and down over 10 miles. That doesn't bode well for a bad knee. If he goes down the wrong fork, his mind and knee will not let him back up.
_________________________
Cliff Harrison
PonderosaSports.com
Horseshoe Bend, ID
American Redoubt
N43.9668 W116.1888

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#209059 - 10/05/10 04:13 AM Re: Idaho Survival Story in the Making [Re: ponder]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
All the experience in the world doesn't mean a thing if you aren't smart enough to STOP MOVING!

Meanwhile, here in Washington State, they're still looking for a 71-yo man who fell 300' off a cliff.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/lo...rmid=obinsource

And the authorities have given up the search for a 65-yo woman who disappeared in the Cascades after she became separated from friends. The news report says they think she "is no longer on the mountain". So she walked home? Kidnapped by space aliens?
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013074262_apwasaukmountainsearch2ndldwritethru.html

I guess not all the nincompoops are young...

Sue

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#209071 - 10/05/10 01:19 PM Re: Idaho Survival Story in the Making [Re: ponder]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Here is a link to the story that includes a video showing some of the terrain. Wow.

That terrain is both beautiful and frightening at the same time. It reminds me of something John Long wrote about the tension a climber feels when he looks at a massive wall: 'strung taught between fear and desire'.

One thing that caught my ear near the end of that video: the man was wearing jeans when last seen. Why would an experienced outdoorsman wear heavy cotton jeans in 'no BS' terrain?

From one of the other links: "Hofflander says the group thought her husband was capable of making it on his own, otherwise they wouldn't have left him". So why leave him at all then? Why not just slow the pace?

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