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tytyler

Leroy Creek Basin, Mt Maude approach recon

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So I left Seattle around 5am, after chasing the cat around outside for 30 minutes. The original plan was to get to the Phelps Creek trailhead and hike into Leroy Creek and scramble up 7 Fingered Jack and check out the N Face of Maude. Then go for Maude in the am and back to the car early in the afternoon (thinking I was only going to have a 5 mile hike out). Of course not. There's a gate at the Atkinson Flat Campground, about 6 miles from the trail head. Hiking the six miles of road pretty much sucked, especially when its snow free and in fine shape. I finally arrive at the trailhead around 10:30, taking a break for food and to check out a Red Jeep Cherokee that appears to be abandoned?? Anyone have info? The roof, and hood are caved in, the side view mirrors are bent, cracked windshield, and the rear window is resting on the rear wiper. There's a sleeping bag and some other gear inside. The parking pass was valid until July of 2005. Did anyone go missing up there, it was kind of strange. Anyway. The trail is mainly snow free to about 1/3 mile before reaching the Wilderness boundary, after that there's pretty consistent snow, but the trail is still easy to follow. The stream crossings were a little high and I was glad I was wearing the Tevas. Once you get on the Leroy Creek trail, there's no snow until you reach patches at 5000, and then its all snow around 5400. I reached the basin around 2:30, had lunch, and started to head back. I didn't want to have to climb Maude in the am and then have to hike the 11+ miles out, when I needed to be back in the city before too late. The hike back to the trail head was only 2.5 hours, but the six mile road hike seemed to take forever. Getting back to the car around 8 (to swarming mosquitos) and back in Seattle around 11, 18hrs. I sure hope they open that gate soon, conditions looked great up there for the climb.

Sorry no pictures, the wife has the digital with her in Hawaii

 

-Call before you go or bring the bike

-one stream crossing required wading, so bring the sandals or similar.

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Nice job and thanks for the information. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

 

I'm starting to wonder if they are not opening the roads in order to save money. I'm not sure how that would save money, but I'll bet it's related to some sort of budget issue.

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YOu need to call the sherrif and report that red jeep. I believe that fits the vehical description for the guy who disapeared last fall. Rodger Jung? I think. That is all from memory, any one else have info?

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This indeed sounds like the description of Roger Jung's Jeep Cherokee.

 

If this really is Roger's Jeep, my condolences go out to Roger's Family. I never got to meet Roger, but I did have the opportunity to climb with Jim Jung and his wife on Dome Peak a few years back and they are super good folks. Unbelievably sad news. frown.gif

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A friend clued me into this post and the Kurt post. Damn. Two pieces of bad news in one day. frown.gif

 

Here is the relevant Roger Jung thread.

 

Thank you so much for reporting the jeep.

Ty, did you happen to get the license plate?

The number we're looking for is 421-PDV.

 

I'll see about contacting Roger's father but would like to hold off until positive ID of the jeep. I'm sure the Sheriff's department will be way ahead of me on this.

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I have contacted the sheriff office with the the relevant info. They are sending and officer up to check on the vehical.

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I just emailed the father (I think) from one of his posts that you all provided. I hope this all helps

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I just ran down to get my photos developed and it is his jeep. I'm going to email the father from the above link and call the sheriff's office. as well

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This may not be appropriate for this thread & there's a number of facts I don't have but: I know in the past people have been locked "in" the Chiwawa with no prior warning when the FS just decided it was a good time to close the gate. In that light maybe driving the roads before locking them up might have resulted in the car being found in a more timely fashion.

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Bruce, that is perhaps true, at least in the time the call went out to search for his vehicle (late October/early November). Before that time people driving by would have assumed there was nothing out of the ordinary about a car parked there. Surely the gatekeeper would check to make sure no vehicles were inside the gate at time of closure.

 

The damage to the car was likely the result of the weight of the winter's snows. The Phelps Creek trailhead is over 3,000 ft in elevation and it was a relatively heavy winter at those altitudes.

 

I talked to Roger's sister Suzy. The Jung family is aware of the car (thanks Ty). Search and Rescue is organizing a search team. There are a lot of peaks up the Phelps Creek valley that Roger would have desired to climb, those he hadn't already done. Roger was quite a prolific mountaineer.

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I posted that because in the past that road had been gated without regard to the fact there were vehicles inside, or, without having checked. Whichever it was, my friends found themselves locked in, miles from someone with a key, without so much as a "Tough Shit, Sucker" coupon on their windshield. To say they were highly inscensed is an understatement. Had they been hauling ass to seek aid for an injured person the results could well have been tragic.

 

That clarified, I really hope the discovery of the car will shed some light on what happened to Roger. As difficult as it is to have someone you know and care about meet an unfortunate fate, it is a thousand times worse to never know what happened. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

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Ty said he spotted a sleeping bag and some other gear inside the vehicle. This might indicate that upon Roger's return to his vehicle and after finishing his climb(s), he got his jeep stuck in the snow (or was unable to move it at all), and may have tried to hoof it out, leaving his gear behind to save weight??? I'm sure SAR has considered this and will be searching the road alongside the Chiwawa River. That road is more than 25 miles long from Phelps Ck TH to anywhere remotely close to civilization. A long way to travel in those conditions; especially after a long climb.

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This may not be appropriate for this thread & there's a number of facts I don't have but: I know in the past people have been locked "in" the Chiwawa with no prior warning when the FS just decided it was a good time to close the gate. In that light maybe driving the roads before locking them up might have resulted in the car being found in a more timely fashion.

Start another thread. This issue with Roger is too important for any drift (other than from this original TR).

 

Great job Ty.

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Good thinking to take pictures of the jeep and mentioning it to people, Ty!

 

Here's hoping that this gets solved soon and Roger's family gets closure.

 

Good thoughts to the S&R folks out there giving it their best

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I do not know if this information helps for the investigation, but when I climbed Scott Peak by Index on May 2006 of this year, a person signed in the register on September 21, 2005 as Roger Jung. I know he was reported missing in October 2005.

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Per Harry Majors email today, a report from the Chelan Co. Sheriff's deputy:

 

"Jeep is Roger's --- He signed the [Phelps Creek] trail register "in" & "out" on October 27th --- Indicated LeRoy Creek as his destination --- Sleeping Bag was in Jeep --- Freshly caught fish was in a plastic bag in the Jeep --- Found no fishing gear"

 

Peaks accessible from that trailhead that Roger had not yet climbed (based on Harry's review of Roger's climb log):

NE Dumbell (aka Greenwood) -- Class 2 to south summit, Class 3 or 3+ to north summit

Point 7598 west of Dumbell -- Class 3 and/or 4

Genius Peak (Pk 8039) south fo Dumbell -- Class 3 but with slabby terrain above Spider Meadow

Knowing Roger's speed, any one of these could be done by him in a day in late-October.

 

There are other, lesser points Harry mentions but they don't seem like worthy trips to me (so maybe not to Roger either). These include two non-summits on Ice Creek Ridge.

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Per Harry Majors email today, a report from the Chelan Co. Sheriff's deputy:

 

"Jeep is Roger's --- He signed the [Phelps Creek] trail register "in" & "out" on October 27th --- Indicated LeRoy Creek as his destination --- Sleeping Bag was in Jeep --- Freshly caught fish was in a plastic bag in the Jeep --- Found no fishing gear"

 

 

So he had been fishing, yet no fishing gear was in the car when it was found? sounds like a fishing/stream/drowning accident.

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Harry mentioned that the fishing gear may have been stolen out of the Jeep recently.

 

Essentially, there are way too many scenarios and what ifs to draw anything but speculative conclusions. Nonetheless, keep coming up with possibilities. It may help the search.

 

I do have to return to climb the north summit of Greenwood. I can now see doing this sooner than later, with the added purpose of scanning the terrain for Roger. He could very well still be buried in snow at this time--especially if he fell down a gully.

 

As for a fishing accident (at Phelps Creek), I would tend to want to discount this because there were already fish in the Jeep that he had caught. Without a cooler, they would spoil in short order. It seems like he would eat those before returning to catch more. Harry does say there are trout found in Phelps Creek. From the trailhead it is a ~200 feet down to the creek. Directly below the trailhead it is brushy and steep but just north of there across the tributary creek coming in from the east, he could have found an easy way down.

 

Who knows. It's a large area to be covered. He will hopefully be found sooner than later, and hopefully this summer.

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there were already fish in the Jeep that he had caught

 

Wow! It sounds like maybe he came back and somehow became stuck and had to go into survival mode.

 

Does the vehicle still have gas in it?

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