Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by painless4u2 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:43 am

When we did Keplinger's on Longs via Wild Basin from Sandbeach Lake, it was a pretty tough, long bushwhack (no trail and lots of tree fall, drop offs, etc). Ended up coming back in the dark, which made it even harder and disorienting.
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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by turbocat » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:18 am

To answer this question...
Ive wanted to do Meeker for a while, is the route back to Sandbeach lake trail fairly hard to locate from Meeker?
On a down climb, yes. Though the standard Meeker Ridge route from Sandbeach Lake TH (Wild Basin RMNP Entrance) seems to be getting more travel these days, it is a bushwhack North up Campers Creek with no trail, and once in the Lookout saddle a faint trail up the ridge can be found on the NW side of the saddle. In some places it is really good, in others it fades. Above tree line it just follows the ridge up some tundra and large talus and is not defined. The cutoff is well before Sandbeach Lake itself at the Campers Creek crossing. Topo attached of the route. There are many places to wander off route if you do not stick to the ridge, or you turn wrong at the saddle. I am not SAR, nor do I want to armchair quarterback this situation, but I do this route at least once a year and would suspect that this hiker got into trouble above treeline and either fell or ran into trouble in the talus field on the ridge on descent (some blocks move and are as big as a VW bug), or simply tried to descend off of the Loft route so as not to return back over to the Meeker East summit (because that traverse is a bit hairy) and after climbing the 2.5 mile ridge, the standard Loft route on descent may have seemed easier. Having done that Loft route a fair amount as well, down climbing without the benefit of going up it could be difficult with many steep sections, especially if you do not find the good ledges. Meeker is one of my favorites, but even with its close proximity to Longs and all the folks who do Longs, not many do Meeker. I have always been alone up there looking at the hoards of folks on Longs. Campers Creek is very isolated with very little to no traffic (why I like it) and it requires good route finding or GPS tracks. It is very long and above treeline for 2.5 miles with tough terrain and just as slow going down as up. I hope the searchers have some success.

[img]
Meeker Ridge from Campers Creek.jpg
Meeker Ridge from Campers Creek.jpg (900.48 KiB) Viewed 2329 times
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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by jfm3 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:26 am

road guy wrote:sad story -

Ive wanted to do Meeker for a while, is the route back to Sandbeach lake trail fairly hard to locate from Meeker?
It may depend on which route you want to take down off the Meeker summit. As indicated in the comment above, returning via Lookout Mountain and Camper's Creek seems to be tough. I hiked Meeker and Meeker Ridge in early June and I came back (and went up) via Hunter's Creek. This creek drains the south bowl of Meeker. From the summit of Meeker Ridge, I went down Meeker's southeast ridge and eventually cut right (west-southwest) off the ridge and went back across the eastern part of Meeker's south bowl to rejoin the creek. From treeline back to the intersection with the actual Sandbeach Lake trail, there is a "trail" of sorts along Hunter's Creek. Some segments are better than others. I also had a GPS route on my watch that I was using as a guide. If you don't go up the Loft or Dreamweaver on Meeker, your route could vary significantly depending on how much talus you want to hike, how comfortable you are with the exposure on the slabs at the top and how well you know the creeks and general topography of the south side. It is certainly a good idea to spend time learning the route, looking at GPS tracks and studying photos to know how to orient yourself on the mountain and determine if the route you want to take is a good one.
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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by RobLowe » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:05 pm

turbocat wrote:To answer this question...
Ive wanted to do Meeker for a while, is the route back to Sandbeach lake trail fairly hard to locate from Meeker?
On a down climb, yes. Though the standard Meeker Ridge route from Sandbeach Lake TH (Wild Basin RMNP Entrance) seems to be getting more travel these days, it is a bushwhack North up Campers Creek with no trail, and once in the Lookout saddle a faint trail up the ridge can be found on the NW side of the saddle. In some places it is really good, in others it fades. Above tree line it just follows the ridge up some tundra and large talus and is not defined. The cutoff is well before Sandbeach Lake itself at the Campers Creek crossing. Topo attached of the route. There are many places to wander off route if you do not stick to the ridge, or you turn wrong at the saddle. I am not SAR, nor do I want to armchair quarterback this situation, but I do this route at least once a year and would suspect that this hiker got into trouble above treeline and either fell or ran into trouble in the talus field on the ridge on descent (some blocks move and are as big as a VW bug), or simply tried to descend off of the Loft route so as not to return back over to the Meeker East summit (because that traverse is a bit hairy) and after climbing the 2.5 mile ridge, the standard Loft route on descent may have seemed easier. Having done that Loft route a fair amount as well, down climbing without the benefit of going up it could be difficult with many steep sections, especially if you do not find the good ledges. Meeker is one of my favorites, but even with its close proximity to Longs and all the folks who do Longs, not many do Meeker. I have always been alone up there looking at the hoards of folks on Longs. Campers Creek is very isolated with very little to no traffic (why I like it) and it requires good route finding or GPS tracks. It is very long and above treeline for 2.5 miles with tough terrain and just as slow going down as up. I hope the searchers have some success.

[img]Meeker%20Ridge%20from%20Campers%20Creek.jpg[/img]
Hunter’s Creek is also commonly used to get Meeker, as it involves a shorter period of time in the brush than Campers Creek. Sorry to the family, friends, and loved ones of Mr. Perri.
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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by Bombgetter » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:22 pm

Looks like they are going for one last search push. If you are in the area and don't mind diverting to help out.

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q= ... an%20perri
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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by BratwurstGoblin » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:51 am

turbocat wrote:To answer this question...
Ive wanted to do Meeker for a while, is the route back to Sandbeach lake trail fairly hard to locate from Meeker?
it is a bushwhack North up Campers Creek with no trail

[img]Meeker%20Ridge%20from%20Campers%20Creek.jpg[/img]
Continue on the main trail to Hunter's Creek and turn north there at the crossing, there is a trail that follows Hunter's creek up through the forest to the meadows around treeline. From there, it's just some steep class 2 to the summit, with maybe a few sections of class 2+/3 scrambling on the ridge. There is a route description for this on this website.
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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by BratwurstGoblin » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:54 am

Sounds like they have found him.

https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2 ... 858940002/

RIP
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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by onebyone » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:16 am

BratwurstGoblin wrote:Sounds like they have found him.

https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2 ... 858940002/

RIP
And as well.
https://www.9news.com/mobile/article/ne ... -578401435

So sorry to the family members reading this.
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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by ultrarunningkid » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:40 am

Sorry to hear, glad the family is able to bury their loved one and get some closure.

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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by bmcqueen » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:24 pm

RIP Brian. My condolences to his friends and family.
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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by Candace66 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:06 pm

RIP.
"One criterion for climbing a peak is that you should gain a vertical height under your own power equal to your peak's rise from its highest connecting saddle with a neighbor peak...Beyond this minimum gain, you are free to gain as much altitude as your peak-bagging conscience requires." - Gerry Roach, "Colorado 14ers" :wink:
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Re: Missing Hiker RMNP/Mt. Meeker

Post by djkest » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:36 pm

RIP Brian. Grateful the the family is able to get some closure in this.
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