Hiker missing 15 days in Sierra Nevada; search is scaled back

Fifteen days after an Orange County man went missing in the southern Sierra Nevada, search crews are scaling back their efforts.

Quang Trong Than
Quang Trong Than 

The search will remain in “limited continuous mode” until Quang Trong Than is found, said a press release from Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. That means the searching will continue but with fewer personnel and resources.

Than, 66, of Newport Beach, was last seen on the afternoon of Aug. 21 on the way up Split Mountain, a 14,064-foot peak. He and his two companions had intended a day hike to the summit, a strenuous out-and-back journey of about 14 miles and 7,500 feet elevation gain from the Red Lake trailhead on the east edge of Inyo National Forest.

Around 3 p.m., Than signaled that the companion waiting for him around 13,200 feet should continue to the summit. Than indicated he would either catch up, wait for the other two to return to that point or head back to the car on his own.

The other two hikers took a wrong turn on their descent and didn’t get back to the car until 3:30 a.m. Than was not there, and he had not retrieved a helmet and jacket he had stashed at Red Lake. He was not carrying gear for an overnight stay.

Than is Asian, 5-foot-2 and 145 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a red backpack, blue hiking shirt and gray hat.

The search team asks that anyone who was on the east side of Split Mountain on Aug. 21 and has possible information call (760) 878-0383, option 4.

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