The search continues for 24 year old First Lt. Matthew Kraft from Washington, CT who set out on a grueling 200 mile ski traverse from Kings Canyon National Park northward to Yosemite National Park and never returned. Kraft started on the Kearsarge Pass trail on Feb. 24 but did not show up at his scheduled ending point of Bridgeport, California.
WTNH reports when Kraft’s father didn’t hear from his son by last Monday he contacted the Mono County Sheriff’s Office. His car was located late Friday near Lower Grays Meadows, close to Independence, but rescue teams have still not located the serviceman. Search and rescue teams have observed “recent avalanche debris” near Kraft’s suspected route at about 8,000 feet, about 2 miles from the Kearsarge trailhead. Evidence of other smaller avalanches was also observed.
The rescue team deployed a snowcat “to rope-tow search and rescue team members on skis up to the Onion Valley parking area” in hopes of speeding up the search ahead of another winter storm this weekend.
Searches on Sunday were primarily air-based due to avalanche concerns. Our thoughts and prayers are with First Lt. Matthew Kraft.
***Anyone with information about Kraft’s whereabouts is asked to call the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 878-0383, option 4; Mono County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 932-7549, option 7; or Fresno County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600-8400.
images from InyoCountySheriffsOffice FB