Search continues for Sierra hiker who’s been missing more than a week
November 29, 2010
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; As the search for a hiker who has been missing for more than a week continues, an official on Monday said the hopes of finding him alive are all but extinguished.
After a break over the holiday weekend due to unsafe conditions, the search re-started on Sunday for Rick Gentry, 55, of Reno, said Armando Avina, WCSO spokesman, and continued when daylight broke Monday.
and#8220;The ultimate goal is finding Mr. Gentry,and#8221; Avina said. and#8220;The chances of surviving at this point are minimal, but we are still investigating a missing person.and#8221;
Avina said adverse weather and heavy snowfall has impacted rescue workersand#8217; ability to safely and efficiently conduct the search.
and#8220;The snow has made it more difficult,and#8221; he said. and#8220;There are certain things a canine canand#8217;t do. But we will continue to utilize the daylight hours when the weather cooperates.and#8221;
Avina said certain segments of the search area may be prone to avalanche, which has further compromised the effort.
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Gentry was hiking Sunday, Nov. 21, near the Galena Creek Trail; he phoned law enforcement around 5 p.m., officials said, saying he was lost and not dressed for the extreme cold.
Over the course of the next week, rescue workers deployed numerous resources including Washoe County Sheriffand#8217;s Office deputies, the officeand#8217;s RAVEN helicopter, Mt. Rose ski patrol and members of the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District.
On the evening of Monday, Nov. 22, rescue workers located a snowshoe, a fanny pack and a black glove believed to have belonged to Gentry; the discarded equipment is a symptom that Gentry may have been suffering from hypothermia, Avina said last week.
Temperatures dipped into single digits overnight on Tuesday, Nov. 23, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Overnight temperatures have been consistently cold since, meaning Gentryand#8217;s chance of surviving this long are slim, Avina said.
Galena Creek Park is located off Highway 431, about halfway between Incline Village and Reno.
Avina is urging private citizens not to conduct individual efforts to locate Gentry.
and#8220;The sheriffand#8217;s office has been receiving numerous phone calls from citizens requesting they be allowed to participate in the search,and#8221; he said Monday. and#8220;We are not soliciting help.and#8221;
Avina advised people to stay away from areas off the trail, where there is a persistent danger of avalanche or hikers becoming lost.
and#8220;We donand#8217;t want additional people becoming lost or injured in the effort to assist,and#8221; he said.
Avina said the rescue workers currently searching are skilled and are constantly checking in with a command post, giving their locations so further injury can be avoided.