A search is currently underway for a missing hiker last seen returning from a summit of Mt. Whitney on Saturday.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified Sunday afternoon that 60-year-old John Likely from Dumont, N.J. had been separated from his hiking group and hadn’t been seen since Saturday.
According to information received by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, a group of three friends who have hiked together regularly over the years summited Mt. Whitney on June 14. During the decent down the trail Likely was hiking at a slower pace than the other two members of the group; according to the reporting party it was not uncommon to go on ahead of Likely.
The two members of the hiking group continued their decent at a faster pace, and waited for Likely at Trail Camp. They could see Likely continuing down the switchbacks with their binoculars and decided they would continue on to Outpost Camp where they were to spend the night. Likely never made it to Outpost Camp. The two-person group searched for their friend the night of Saturday, June 14, and the morning of the Sunday, June 15.
The Sheriff’s Office was contacted and immediately responded with Inyo County Search and Rescue ground crews on Sunday. Additional ground support is currently being provided by Mono County Search and Rescue, as well as China Lake Mountain Rescue Group. CHP helicopter H-80 is also assisting in the search.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking for any information from hikers who may have seen Likely over the weekend.
Likely is reported to be wearing a red San Francisco 49ers ball cap, a black jacket, dark colored shorts and a small backpack, he has gray hair and no facial hair.
Anyone who may have encountered Likely on the trail, or who may have information that could assist the search effort, is encouraged to call Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760) 878-0383.