UPDATE: 5/24/2 03:00 am PT:
A high-elevation search and rescue operation ended happily last night when ground searchers successfully located missing hiker Edward Lee Alderman in the vicinity of Timberline Lake, several miles west of the summit of Mount Whitney. Mr. Alderman is reported to be alert, despite injuries, fatigue, and exposure to sub-freezing temperatures.
Mr. Alderman was reported missing on Friday, after failing to return from his hike to the summit of Mount Whitney on Thursday, May 20. Helicopters searched the area from the air on Saturday, and ground searchers were deployed on Sunday, once a late-season winter storm cleared the area.
Mr. Alderman was located with the help of a tip from hikers who reported having heard a voice in the vicinity of Timberline Lake early this morning. Helicopter 552 from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks has evacuated Mr. Alderman from the wilderness and is delivering him to medical care.
“We are thrilled and relieved to report that Mr. Alderman is alive, safe, and on his way to definitive medical care. With large numbers of people heading into the wilderness this summer, we urgently remind everyone to prepare carefully for their trips and understand that there are real risks out there. We know that Mr. Alderman and his loved ones have been through a lot in the last few days and we’re so glad he’s going home.”
– Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Incident Commander Dave Fox
A 33-year-old Austin, Texas man has been missing on 14,505′ Mt. Whitney, CA since Thursday.
Friday and Saturday were snowy and very cold in the Mt. Whitney area.
Full details below.
National Park Service Press Release:
News Release Date: May 22, 2021
Contact: Rebecca Paterson, 559-702-3400
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. May 22, 2021 – A search is underway in the Mount Whitney area for Edward Lee Alderman, 33, of Austin Texas. Mr. Alderman set out from Whitney Portal to summit Mount Whitney in the early morning hours on Thursday, May 20. The last confirmed sighting of Mr. Alderman occurred at approximately 4 p.m. that afternoon, departing the summit of Mount Whitney.
Reportedly, Mr. Alderman’s intention was to summit Mount Whitney and descend to Trail Camp in a single day. He began the day with a hiking partner, but they separated when Mr. Alderman was still approaching the summit. Mr. Alderman was reported missing by his hiking partner in the morning on Friday, May 21.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the Inyo County Sherriff’s Office are engaged in a joint response to search for Mr. Alderman. Ground searching efforts have been delayed due to a winter storm in the mountains on Friday and Saturday. Helicopter searches are underway. With clear and warmer weather predicted on Sunday, May 23, NPS and ICSO officials anticipate that ground searching will be feasible.
When last seen, Mr. Alderman was wearing a black puffy jacket, a gray shell, khaki pants, and black trail runners. He is caucasion, 6 feet tall, and has brown hair and brown eyes.
If you believe you may have seen Edward Lee Alderman, or if you hiked in the Mount Whitney area between Thursday, May 20, and Saturday, May 22, regardless of whether you believe that you saw him, please contact Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks dispatch at (888) 677-2746, or by email email@example.com.