Day six of the search for missing mountaineer Ric Devan has come and gone and still no positive signs.
Ric DeVan is the San Diego man lost in the High Sierra near Bishop Pass since July Fourth.
Thursday night many searchers spent the night in the field to continue rescue efforts today. Helicopters and search dogs are also being used in the search effort.
Rescue teams from across the state, some volunteer, some paid, but all trained, continue to search the high country for signs. Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze says the absolute best and most skilled personnel have been working tirelessly to bring Mr. DeVan home, adding that this is more than a job each member of the search team invests every ounce of their reserves, both emotionally and physically, into locating lost persons.
The missing climber was last seen on July third in the Bishop area. DeVan set out on an overnight trip from Bishop Pass toward Mt. Goode on the third of July. He was supposed to meet his wife and daughter at Treasure Lakes on the Fourth but did not arrive.
The last sure sign of DeVans passage was his signature in the summit register on the 13,000 foot peak of Mt. Goode. In that summit register, Devan indicated that he would next traverse to neighboring Mt. Johnson. There is a difficult ridge between Mt. Goode and Mt. Johnson. Local search teams who traversed the ridge toward Mt. Johnson describe the terrain as treacherous and extremely unstable.
With so little found, the search area has expanded out from Mt. Agassiz to the south of Bishop Pass to Mt. Gilbert to the north of DeVans intended destination.
On Wednesday, the fifth day of the Search effort, search teams did find some footprints. While the footprints may or may not belong to the missing man, the footprints gave searchers enough new evidence to keep the search from being called off. Every lead we get is tracked and investigated meticulously and we will continue to investigate each lead that becomes available, reported Incident Commander, Inyo County Sheriffs Corporal Terry Waterbury.
With day seven of the search now underway, it appears that those footprints did not pan out.
E-mails to Sierra Wave indicate that family and friends have not given up hope to find the missing man alive. Friends and family report that they plan to continue the search effort if the official search is called off or scaled back.
That decision could be made tonight. Today is the seventh day of the search effort. Inyo Sheriff officials report that if nothing is found today, they will re-evaluate whether or not to continue the search or possibly scale the search effort back.