Search For Missing Kings Canyon National Park Backpacker Moves Into 7th Day

A search for a missing backpacker in Kings Canyon National Park moved into its seventh day Tuesday, though so far the efforts have failed to turn up any trace of the man.

Larry Conn, a 53-year-old Pacific Palisades, California, resident, failed to return from a weekend trek last Monday as expected. He was reported overdue Tuesday, and the active search got under way on October 24.

Mr. Conn's intended route was to go over Taboose Pass towards the John Muir Trail in Kings Canyon. His route might also have included Split Mountain and Pinchot Pass, park officials said. The search area is between 10,000 and 12,000 feet in elevation, an area where upwards of 18 inches of snow has accumulated on the ground and overnight lows have tipped into the 20s.

On Monday the search involved 45 staff from Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, who received help from Friends of Yosemite Search and Rescue (“YODOGS”-canine search and rescue team), Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Sierra Madre Search and Rescue, and Yosemite National Park. Thirteen ground search teams, three dog teams, and two contract helicopters focused on specific high-probability areas around Pinchot Pass, Taboose Pass, and Split Mountain, including likely travel corridors/camp locations.

Park officials reported that conditions were challenging, with "melting/refreezing cycles masking potential tracks and creating icy areas, deep snow in drifts, cold temperatures from the mid-40s in the daytime to the low-20s at night and high elevations."