Ground and air teams were searching Thursday for a missing 73-year-old hiker who failed to return from a day hike to the summit of Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park.
The search for Kenneth "Wade" Brunette has not been an easy one, as cold, windy conditions were hampering visibility on the 14,494-foot mountain that is the highest peak in the coterminous 48 states.
The search for Mr. Brunette began on Tuesday after he failed to return from a trip to the summit, park officials said. Search and rescue personnel from Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, Inyo County Search and Rescue, China Lake Mountain Rescue Group, Mono County Search and Rescue, and Kern County Search and Rescue, as well as helicopters from the National Park Service and the California Highway Patrol were involved in the search.
Park officials described Mr. Brunette as a solo hiker with no past medical conditions. He was last seen wearing a royal blue jacket and tan pants.
Anyone who was in the backcountry area around Whitney Portal, the Mt. Whitney summit, or the areas in Sequoia National Park around Crabtree Meadow or Mt. Russell are asked to contact investigators whether or not they saw someone matching Mr. Brunette’s description.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: 559/565-3195
Inyo County Sheriff’s Department: 760/878-0383