Search is Underway for Marine Who Failed to Return from California Backcountry Skiing Trip on 5th March

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marine, missing, California, backcountry
Matthew Kraft failed to return from his backcountry skiing trip on 5th March. Credit: Inyo County Sheriff’s Office
1st Lt. Matthew Kraft has been reported missing to local law enforcement after the Marine missed 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, CaliforniaThe Mono County Sheriff’s Office began a search on March 4, which then 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.

marine, missing, California, backcountry
Officials are also looking for Kraft’s Jeep. Credit: Inyo County Sheriff’s Office
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 the 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.

marine, missing, California, backcountry
Credit: Inyo County Sheriff’s Office
For additional queries, please contact the 1st Marine Division press officer Capt. Paul Gainey at (760) 725-9226 or email

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