Officials with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks said Wednesday they are seeking information regarding a Manhattan Beach man who didn’t return from a backpacking trip in the Eastern Sierra as planned.
Bob Woodie, 74, was supposed to return Sunday from his hike into the wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park, according to a press release from the National Parks Service. Park staff was notified of his absence on Tuesday, and on Wednesday two helicopters and 20 field personnel conducted search operations.
Woodie possibly started his hike at South Lake, outside the town of Bishop, heading into the park via Bishop Pass on Oct. 13, officials said. An electronic check-in on his satellite message device indicated he was possibly at Barrett Lakes last Saturday evening.
The area experienced some inclement weather during that time, including snow in some high-elevation areas, and overnight temperatures have been below freezing, according to park staff.
Woodie is an experienced hiker who is familiar with the area, according to the statement. He is described as caucasian with brown hair and eyes, 5 feet 5 inches tall and around 150 pounds.
His equipment reportedly included an internal frame backpack, possibly blue, but he did not have hiking poles. He was possibly carrying a blue outdoor jacket, baseball cap or floppy hat and boots.
The search area is a High Sierra alpine environment, between approximately 8,000 and 12,000 feet elevation, officials said. The rugged terrain includes forest, alpine lakes and areas above tree line with talus slopes and rocky mountain passes.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office is also performing search operations in Inyo National Forest, which borders the national park.
Anyone who may have come across Woodie or have any other information is encouraged to contact Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks at 559-565-3117 with their name and contact information. Please contact the park if you were in this area since Thursday, Oct. 13, even if you do not believe you saw Woodie.