Home Forums Sasquatch Forum Missing Marine in CA

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    Thomas W


    Hmm alone, in a remote location, in the winter…..could be weather could be Sasquatch. Hope he comes back OK but not looking good.

    Steve E

    I kind-a know this area, as I camp & fish from Independence to Bridgeport, but not in the back-country where this guy was traveling. Mammoth which is about in the middle of his route has something like a 50 foot snow base and it could be even higher in the back areas.

    Found this recent QUOTE: Snow measurement sites outside of Independence jumped from 66 percent of normal for this date to 149 percent, according to data issued by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

    I have a bad feeling about the outcome of this and if he is under a deep snow pack, his body may not be found for many months..

    Augustine L

    The guy is trying to ski 130 miles in 10 days in the Sierras in winter. 13 miles a day sounds okay but it’s farther if you got a lot of up and down and around to a pass and all. He is doing the High Country Route


    TV news

    FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — Authorities in California searched for a sixth day Saturday for a missing Marine after he failed to return from a backcountry skiing trip through the Sierra Nevada.

    First Lt. Matthew Kraft began trekking a section of the rugged Sierra High Route on Feb. 23 and was scheduled to complete it on Monday or Tuesday near Bridgeport, a town northeast of Yosemite National Park, 1st Marine Capt. Paul Gainey said.

    Kraft is an infantry officer who received survival training in the field.

    “He has the skills to survive in austere environments, and we’re hoping for the best here,” Gainey said.

    Searchers located on Friday night a Jeep that Kraft parked at the start of his trip near Independence, about 130 miles (209 kilometers) south of Bridgeport, Inyo County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carma Roper said Saturday.

    Crews from local, state and federal agencies were searching a 400-square-mile (1,036-square-kilometer) area from Yosemite down to Sierra and Inyo National Forests and Kings Canyon National Park, Roper said.

    Thick clouds have hindered the search from the air, and winter weather has made searches by ski on the ground unsafe, she said. Another storm was in the forecast Saturday afternoon through the weekend.

    A series of winter storms has dumped record amounts of snow in the Sierra and led to avalanche warnings in the backcountry.


    Inyo County Sheriff’s Office
    on Friday

    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – 1st Lt. Matthew Kraft has been reported missing to local law enforcement after missing his return date from a backcountry skiing trip on the Sierra High Route. Kraft’s itinerary began out of the Kearsarge Pass trailhead Feb. 23 and was scheduled to end March 4 or 5 near Bridgeport, California.

    The Mono County Sheriff’s Office began a search on March 4. The search expanded on March 5th and is now a joint operation with Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Mono County Sheriff’s Office, and Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Other assisting agencies include California Highway Patrol, Cal OES, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Madera County Sheriff’s Office, and the Marines Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Aerial support has been provided by Fresno County Sheriff, CHP – Inland Division Air Operations, CHP – Central Division Air Operations, and the Air National Guard.

    Law enforcement agencies are also searching for the Marine’s rental vehicle, a gray 2016 Jeep Wrangler 2-door, assumed to be located at his trip’s start point in vicinity of Independence, California.

    Individuals with any information regarding Kraft’s whereabouts should immediately contact Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 878-0383, option 4; Mono County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 932-7549, option 7; or Fresno County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600-8400.

    For additional queries, please contact the 1st Marine Division press officer Capt. Paul Gainey at (760) 725-9226 or email paul.gainey@usmc.mil.


    The snow depth in the area around Bridgeport is considerable. Eight to sixteen feet in the mountains.

    snow Bridgeport

    Steven B

    “Thick clouds have hindered the search from the air, and winter weather has made searches by ski on the ground unsafe, she said. Another storm was in the forecast Saturday afternoon through the weekend.”

    Classic “Missing 411” scenario. 🙁


    He picked an intensely snowy period in the Sierras for this trip. He may have gotten a little off course in blizzard conditions, probably hard to sight a point with your compass in a blizzard. I know he’s five days late now, but considering he’s trying to 130 miles in 10 days its probably taking him a little longer than he anticipated. My guess is he’s okay.

    Augustine L

    I compared his planned begin and end sites with the actual High Country Route. His plan matches the whole route. No way that takes ten days. It’s close to 200 miles. Nuts. I read one expert hiked it in a month, but they recommend you do it in five sections. To ski it in deep snow, if it’s powdery, would be a bad plan. When I lived in Colorado, people used snorkel to ski in several feet of new snow in case you fell in a hole, which in powder you sure can. Holes form around the bases of tree, for example. Not that CA has much powder. It’s more like wet cement. Yet they try.

    This is the next county over from the one I live in. We have gotten waves of rain for the last couple weeks. My opinion is this guy is toast.

    Where is he from that he thinks this would be a good idea?

    Kim C. L

    There are so many bad jokes to make,
    A lieutenant getting lost?
    But, I’ll just hope for his safe return, and soon.

    Danny T

    I have only positive thoughts for Lt. Kraft, like Knobby said, he is okay.

    Come on Marine, finish your mission!


    Danny T, there are positives, like he’s prepared for winter travel and has survival training, and of course it just taking a lot longer than he anticipated. But there are also negatives.

    Augustine, I had thought about what you brought up, falling in a hole. People skiing off trail can sink in these deep powder holes that can form around a tree and suffocate, not being able to climb out of it. He could also have a ski accident in areas where he skied downhill.

    Cynthia S

    I’ll continue to think positive thoughts about
    Lt. Kraft. He has the best training in the world and I’m sure he’s tough and he’ll make it to Bridgeport safely. Prayers. ?



    Oh come on lets get realistic — 50 foot snow base??
    As of today Mammoth Mtn ski area is reporting 72 INCHES at the base and 132 INCHES at the ski area summit.


    Mammoth Mtn would be CLOSED long before they even remotely came close to seeing 50 FEET OF SNOW


    the spring runoff from a 50 FOOT SNOW PACK would destroy the town of Mammoth Lakes.

    Steve E

    Hey, I was going by what a Co-worker told me who was just up there skiing, I’ll ask him again tomorrow..

    Augustine L

    Fifty feet of snow seems like too much, but it’s not uncommon for the Sierras to have thirty feet in a winter.

    Mammoth says 235″ base. So, close to 20 feet.

    And yet, the snow report for Tahoe Northstar says 555 inches so far for the season. Kirkwood says 535 inches. That’s close to fifty feet. But those are much farther north.

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