Missing Mount Whitney hiker found deceased

Ling Dao didn’t sign the summit register, which delayed the search in the immediate area. Sequoia National Park personnel discovered later from witness reports that Dao had been on the summit.

June 19, 2019— The body of missing hiker Ling Dao was located Tuesday afternoon, June 18, on the north side of Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park. The body was recovered from the remote location, transported to the Ash Mountain Helibase in Sequoia National Park, and transferred to the Tulare County Coroner’s Office. Cause of death is under investigation.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ staff was contacted to assist with search operations on Sunday, June 16. Park staff confirmed that day that Dao was not listed in the Mount Whitney summit register. Search efforts were halted June 17 due to unsafe weather conditions. On June 18, park staff received notification that witnesses reported encountering Dao on the summit of Mount Whitney, at which point aerial searching continued in the area and the body was found and recovered.

The search area was approximately 30 square miles of high mountain terrain. The search teams included staff from Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Inyo Search and Rescue, Mono Search and Rescue, China Lake Mountain Rescue, and aerial reconnaissance from CHP- Inland Division Air Operations, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

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