June 19, 2024
Stephen Bloor, 57, had set out that morning on what was intended to be a 180-mile solo hike from Devils Postpile to Lake Tahoe.

A California man who went missing on a Sierra Nevada backpacking trip was found dead, apparently having fallen on a rocky slope.

Stephen Bloor, 57, of Santa Ana, was reported missing by his wife, who became concerned when his GPS tracking device remained in one place for hours, the Mono County sheriff’s office said.

Bloor had set out on the morning of Friday, Aug. 18, from Devils Postpile, near Mammoth Lakes, on what was intended to be a solo hike to the Lake Tahoe area, about 180 miles.

He reportedly told other hikers on the John Muir Trail that he planned to spend the first night at Garnet Lake, a 10-mile hike from Devils Postpile — but in his last contact with his wife, around 6 p.m., he had apparently left the main trail and was near Iceberg Lake, at 10,000 feet elevation and 3 miles southwest of Garnet.

A report from the Mono County sheriff’s office said his wife was unable to reach him by phone or through his satellite communication device after that, and the location transmitted by the device was not moving. She called the sheriff to report him missing.

Searchers from the Madera and Mono county sheriff’s offices, aided by a California Highway Patrol helicopter, found the hiker on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 19, on a steep boulder field near Iceberg Lake. He had died, apparently from injuries suffered in a fall.

Because of the danger presented by the weather associated with Tropical Storm Hilary, the recovery operation was postponed. The body was flown out on Tuesday, Aug. 22, the Madera County sheriff’s office reported.