A Garden Grove man, missing in the Palisade region of the Sierra above Big Pine, has been found dead at the base of the Isoceles Peak. National Park Service search crews from Yosemite had joined the effort and planned to stay with the body overnight and fly it out to the west side on Friday.
39 year old Henry Nguyen of Garden Grove, California, planned to hike a remote and high route around the Palisade area above Big Pine, climbing peaks and passes along the way back to his car at Birch Creek. He was scheduled to finish this trip over a week ago. It appeared the man may have fallen to his death.
Earlier this week, the Baseball field in Big Pine was converted to a makeshift air strip for the search, flying teams far into the backcountry.
In the vast and rugged terrain, the Inyo County volunteers also searched for signs of the mans passing. Any foot print in this remote and seldom traveled part of the Sierra could be significant. One team followed tracks all over the remote basin West of South Fork Pass, until they found marks in the sand that could indicate the man slept in that location.
Trying to find any sign that could lead to the missing man, searchers climbed to the top of peaks that Nguyen planned to climb to check the summit registers that climbers sign when they reach the top of the Sierra Summits. Another, grim, purpose to climb the peaks that Nguyen planned to climb was to search the gullies and glaciers for evidence of a fall. Thursday afternoon searchers found Nguyen’s body.
Nguyen is reported to have commonly asked people in the back-country to e-mail his mother to tell her of his location. She had apparently not heard from him in some days.