San Francisco Chronicle
Backpacker on solo hike in Yosemite missing
A U.S. Army reservist was reported missing Saturday after failing to return from what was intended to be a fourday solo hike in Yosemite, according to officials with the national park.
Joel Thomazin, 31, of Denair (Stanislaus County) had planned on a backpacking trip from the Hetch Hetchy area to Lake Eleanor, a round-trip trek of about 18 miles. Thomazin set off on Sept. 6 and planned to return Sept. 9.
Park officials described Thomazin as a 5-foot-10 white male with buzzed brown hair. He was hiking with a Kelty brand yellow and gray backpack, a green sleeping bag, bright-red inflatable kayak, a bluegreen hammock and tan or blue zip-off pants.
Thomazin studied history at California State University Stanislaus before joining the U.S. Army Reserve as a civil affairs specialist, according to his LinkedIn page.
“I strive to be a man of integrity and believe that if you act honestly and with civility you will have few enemies and many people’s trust,” Thomazin wrote on his page.
Thomazin’s case comes after a series of high-profile incidents involving missing hikers — some of whom ultimately met with a fatal outcome. On July 19, a San Jose hiker who went missing at Point Reyes National Seashore was found dead at the base of a cliff. The body of Berkeley runner Philip Kreycik was found nearly a month later in Pleasanton, with officials suspecting heat exhaustion played a role in his death.
And authorities are still investigating what caused the deaths of a young family and their dog, whose bodies were discovered on a remote Mariposa County hiking trail last month.
Search teams are asking anyone with information on Thomazin or who was in the areas of Miguel Meadow, Lake Eleanor, or on the trails around Hetch Hetchy since Sept. 6 to contact Yosemite’s Search and Rescue unit at 209-238-7046.