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Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

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Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby rufhausen » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:43 am

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23828823/human-skull-found-holy-cross-wilderness

This story is sparse in details, especially as to where in the HCW this was found, but I hope it will eventually bring closure to some family whose loved one went missing there and I suppose the immediate speculation will be that it could be Michelle Vanek.

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Re: Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby davebks » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:33 am

I am guessing her too. That was always a weird story. I hope they find some peace.

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Re: Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby Upwardlybound » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:28 am

That was an unfortunate story...vanishing without a trace. What year was that?
"He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals His thoughts to men, He who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth -- the Lord God Almighty is His name." Amos 4:13

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Re: Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby rufhausen » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:42 am

Upwardlybound wrote:That was an unfortunate story...vanishing without a trace. What year was that?


September 2005: http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/v/vanek_michelle.html

I became familiar with the story while reading up on MHC before climbing it last year and from reading "Colorado 14er Disasters". Since then, it's impossible for me to come across MHC on Google Earth without thinking about where she would have gone from where she was last seen.

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Re: Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:06 pm

Boy I hope it is her, that family has been through a lot.
Last edited by its_not_a_tuba on Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:08 pm

its_not_a_tuba wrote:Bot I hope it is her, that family has been through a lot.

Yes, and hopefully a lead to determine what happened. Accident or not

Re: Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:42 pm

This story was the most captivating chapter in 14er Disasters. I hope that it is her so there is closure.

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Re: Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby Chicago Transplant » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:57 pm

I would resist the urge to speculate, not wanting to get anyone's hopes up on finding closure. Holy Cross Wilderness is a big place, and the likelihood this was even found near the peak itself is small, especially given how much traffic the mountain itself sees and how much ground on it is covered through various SAR operations over the years. There is not much on that peak that has not been searched, and the nooks and crannies that haven't been aren't in places anyone would go if not lost themselves. Please, lets show some discretion until there are more facts, the skull was found in Holy Cross Wilderness, nobody said it was on the mountain. As people have said, her family (and others) have been through a lot, let's not get anyone's hopes up just to let them down again. Thanks.
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Re: Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby tlongpine » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:58 pm

Reading the Vail Daily coverage, no indication was given that the discovery occurred on or in the immediate vicinity of MHC. The Holy Cross Wilderness is a massive wilderness (http://www.wilderness.net/map.cfm?xmin=-11872044.9335&ymin=4762636.7517&xmax=-11840590.2103&ymax=4805195.4353) comprising 120,000+ plus acres and more than 150 miles of trail, and has previously yielded bone fragments stemming from a mysterious plane crash: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_D._Button.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby rufhausen » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:36 pm

Chicago Transplant wrote:I would resist the urge to speculate, not wanting to get anyone's hopes up on finding closure. Holy Cross Wilderness is a big place, and the likelihood this was even found near the peak itself is small, especially given how much traffic the mountain itself sees and how much ground on it is covered through various SAR operations over the years. There is not much on that peak that has not been searched, and the nooks and crannies that haven't been aren't in places anyone would go if not lost themselves.


Having just read "The Last Season" (http://thelastseason.com) about a backcountry ranger who went missing and who's remains were not found for 5 years in spite of a massive search that included the immediate vicinity where he was found, I wouldn't discount anything.

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Re: Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby mountainrev » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:41 pm

tlongpine wrote:Reading the Vail Daily coverage, no indication was given that the discovery occurred on or in the immediate vicinity of MHC. The Holy Cross Wilderness is a massive wilderness (http://www.wilderness.net/map.cfm?xmin=-11872044.9335&ymin=4762636.7517&xmax=-11840590.2103&ymax=4805195.4353) comprising 120,000+ plus acres and more than 150 miles of trail, and has previously yielded bone fragments stemming from a mysterious plane crash: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_D._Button.


The Vail Daily says that the hiker reported the discovery to the White River Ranger District office in Minturn, rather than Eagle, so that would seem to lean more toward Mount of the Holy Cross area, not Gold Dust Peak, where the A-10 Warthog crashed. Besides, I don't believe any of the human remains discovered from that crash were anywhere as large as this discovery. Button basically disintegrated upon impact.

Re: Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:49 pm

tlongpine wrote:Reading the Vail Daily coverage, no indication was given that the discovery occurred on or in the immediate vicinity of MHC. The Holy Cross Wilderness is a massive wilderness (http://www.wilderness.net/map.cfm?xmin=-11872044.9335&ymin=4762636.7517&xmax=-11840590.2103&ymax=4805195.4353) comprising 120,000+ plus acres and more than 150 miles of trail, and has previously yielded bone fragments stemming from a mysterious plane crash: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_D._Button.



Ah good to know. Yes I hope the family doesn't get their hopes up only to be let down. Sad all around. :(

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