A search for a missing hiker in the Eastern Sierra wilderness came to a grim end this week with the discovery of the Portland, Ore. resident’s body.
Inyo County Search and Rescue recovered the body of 37-year-old Christian Meining Wednesday afternoon near the Mt. Whitney Trail, nearly 24 hours after he was first reported missing.
According to Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Carma Roper, search crews were dispatched Monday morning when Meining failed to hike out of the Whitney Portal area Friday morning as scheduled.
According to reports from a group of hikers that met Meining on the trail and spent a night with him, the Portland man spent Thursday night at Lower Boy Scout Lake. The following morning Meining told the group that he was going to head back down the trail.
“This was the last contact anyone has had with him,” Roper said. “He had a hotel room in Lone Pine reserved for Friday, but he never showed up.”
Search and Rescue dispatched ground teams and utilized the California Highway Patrol’s helicopter Monday and Tuesday to locate Meining. Rescue crews also circulated a description of Meining to area hikers and campers, asking for information from anyone who may have crossed paths with him during his excursion.
According to Roper, a ground crew located Meining’s body around noon on Tuesday below a particularly steep ledge near the second creek crossing off Mt. Whitney Trail.
“It is estimated that he fell approximately 200 feet,” she said.
The exact cause if death is still under investigation.