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FYI: fallen hiker/climber in Eldo (Lance Hering)
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clausti


Sep 4, 2006, 4:43 AM
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edited to delete unnecc. coments.


mbez


Sep 4, 2006, 6:49 AM
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Re: FYI: fallen hiker/climber in Eldo (Lance Hering) [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
It's also possible that his friend killed him and made up the whole story about the fall, etc..
...ala J-Tree 2004!

Huh? Fill me in, don't know what you're talking about.

I think he's talking about Eric Sears:
http://www.signonsandiego.com/...-9999-1mc24eric.html
Jimson Weed is what killed him:
http://www.nctimes.com/...21_33_0310_20_04.txt


leomedic


Sep 4, 2006, 4:12 PM
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Re: FYI: fallen hiker/climber in Eldo (Lance Hering) [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I will be the first to apologize if he's really out there, but am I the only one who finds problems with this whole story?
1) "Bouldering at 10 pm" - it is really dark up there. I've lived and bouldered in Bldr for 30 years, and maybe they were just up there B.S.ing for hours - but they were not bouldering at that time of night.

They had been freeclimbing (bouldering) all day, having bushwhacked up from the bottom that morning. When the fall occurred they were working their way back down the trail in the dark without lights. Where Lance went off the trail is only about a foot and a half wide traversing a 50-60 degree slope. Look at a map of the North Draw, they were only a hundred feet or so past the hairpin at the top when Lance fell. From the signs I saw, he misstepped off the trail between two trees (may have struck his head), tumbled at least once downhill, then slid (probably headfirst on his back) down a grassed slope. The slide path is quite clear for 20+ feet of slope, breaks through a thin brush screen, and off a small terminal drop of perhaps 8 feet with an impact point on a couple large flattish rocks at the bottom. There is significant blood that has run and pooled on the rock surface.

In reply to:
2) It's a tough call, but a head injury and unconscious for 4 hours? That's a medical emergency necessitating ASAP treatment; you don't sit for 4 hours. You strip down to your shorts, put everything else over the injured person to keep them warm, then race for help.

During daylight, if the patient was still unconscious after 30 minutes I would agree. At night in those hills I would not leave an unconscious person undefended. During the search there were several direct sightings of bears and lions, and the area is thick with tracks, lie-ups, kill/feeding sites, and other sign. I crossed paths with a sow bear and cub while searching the west face of Shadow Canyon on Thursday. That's the canyon east of the North Draw.

In reply to:
3) After his friend left him, "at 2 am," it took him 2 hours to go a mile and a half downhill?

Don't rely on the media for accurate details. Half the time they can't even get the major facts straight and I speak from over 20years of experience dealing with news media. Steve estimates it was 9:30 or a little later when Lance went off the trail. Steve stuck with Lance hoping he would regain consciousness and be able to walk out, maybe with Steve's help. When Lance finally roused he was acting "loopy". Steve is not medically trained and is not familiar with concussion patients. He didn't understand why Lance kept repeating the same questions, but it was obvious that Lance was not fully oriented. Steve started down for help somewhere between 2am and 3am at best estimate.

In reply to:
4) Especially for an athletic soldier, going uphill to Walker Ranch would only take an hour, even in the dark on that trail. From there, a prearranged ride could be waiting.

Possibly. If this was staged then the trail side fall area, the slide and impact site would have taken careful engineering. I saw nothing to indicate that anything other than a human body made the signs on that hillside.

In reply to:
5) Trained search dogs couldn't follow a trail, even with fresh blood to start from?
I'm sorry, but this cries out as an AWOL ruse, and at the very least a serious interrogation of the friend is overdue.

Search dogs are not a magic wand. I've seen experienced dogs and handlers under strictly controlled practice conditions fail to find someone in a predefined search area.
Steve controlled bleeding from Lance's scalp injury with a bandage torn from Lance's t-shirt.
And you better believe the Sheriff's people interviewed Steve several times. He was also accompanied at all times by Sheriff's personnel during the search.

In reply to:
I sympathize with any conscientious method of refusing to return to Iraq - but if this turns out as I suspect, they need to throw the book at his friend and any other accomplice, for risking the lives of 100+ volunteers, chopper pilots, etc.
If I'm wrong: The whole search and rescue concept is flawed. As with the lost RMNP ranger last year, these searches somehow miss the person, despite all the manpower. Then, hikers stumble upon the victim later -- inevitably, not far from a trail. What the hell's wrong w/ the search system?

Your question as phrased sounds a lot like armchair quarterbacking. The SAR community is constantly seeking ways to improve search percentages. A typical acre of mountain terrain can contain 100-200+ potential hiding/shelter places to crawl into. Not including the possibility of climbing a tree, belting in hidden by foliage and then succumbing to injuries. In 20+ years of emergency service I've seen off-ground finds on several occasions. Frequently those later finds you refer to are after the foliage has dropped in the Fall or before leafout in the Spring.

If you are truly interested in your own question about search methodologies I suggest checking out either
--- Boulder Emergency Squad, http://www.bes-rescue.org
"...feel free to stop by one of our trainings or meetings. We meet every Monday night at our headquarters at 3532 Diagonal Hwy. in Boulder at 7:00PM. "
--- Rocky Mountain Rescue Group also based in Boulder, http://www.rockymountainrescue.org/html/calendar.html
"RMRG practices and training meetings are free and open to the public. Participation may be limited by experience and ability."

Regards to all and sympathies to Lance's family.


htotsu


Sep 4, 2006, 4:16 PM
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Re: FYI: fallen hiker/climber in Eldo (Lance Hering) [In reply to]
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Yipes. Just say no. Thanks, mbez.


climbingnurse


Sep 4, 2006, 5:05 PM
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Re: FYI: fallen hiker/climber in Eldo (Lance Hering) [In reply to]
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In reply to:
this is still a volunteer army in the states, buddy. you sign a bunch of papers saying you'll do 4-8 years for uncle sam if he'll pay for your college, then, well, you have signed up for it.

Strong words from someone whose parents could afford to send them to college. It's volunteer, but it's also one of very few options for poor folk in this country.


billl7


Sep 4, 2006, 5:21 PM
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deleted insensitive off-topic reactionary post


clausti


Sep 4, 2006, 6:49 PM
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Re: FYI: fallen hiker/climber in Eldo (Lance Hering) [In reply to]
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edited to remove unnecc. comments. following retained comment to refer to what might remain as quoted statements:

I would like to say that i got a PM that made me reconsider my statement [about our volunteer army], at least in part. specifically: those individuals who are serving out what they signed for, the four years of active duty, i would stand by my earlier statement. for men and women serving under stop-loss, or national gaurdsmen and women far past their contract, i apologize. not all of the things our military is doing right now are fair. and, i should have read a little bit further before i opened my proverbial mouth.


socalclimber


Sep 4, 2006, 8:14 PM
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Re: FYI: fallen hiker/climber in Eldo (Lance Hering) [In reply to]
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Uh do you guys think you could take your bullshit elsewhere and stay on topic.

Since you've forgotten, SOMEONE IS INJURED AND MISSING IN THE WILDERNESS. THIS PERSON HAS FRIENDS AND FAMILY READING THIS THREAD!

Having worked SAR here in JOSH and running OP's during the Eric Sears search I can tell you first hand how hard this must be for all those involved.

My best wishes in the search and the outcome.

Robert


clausti


Sep 4, 2006, 9:02 PM
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In reply to:
Uh do you guys think you could take your s--- elsewhere and stay on topic.

Since you've forgotten, SOMEONE IS INJURED AND MISSING IN THE WILDERNESS. THIS PERSON HAS FRIENDS AND FAMILY READING THIS THREAD!

Having worked SAR here in JOSH and running OP's during the Eric Sears search I can tell you first hand how hard this must be for all those involved.

My best wishes in the search and the outcome.

Robert

further apologies for having introduced and perpetuated off topic bullshit in a serious thread. to friends and family that might be reading this, my hope and sympathy goes out to you in a dark situation that is poorer than could be wished on anyone.


timstich


Sep 4, 2006, 9:43 PM
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Re: FYI: fallen hiker/climber in Eldo (Lance Hering) [In reply to]
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Well, it looks like this was all faked. Better than the event being real, if you ask me.


socalclimber


Sep 5, 2006, 5:41 PM
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"I know it's a pain in the ass all of you relatives and friends of Lance, but this is pretty typical of threads regarding accidents. If you read enough of them you would see that. People in general get riled up about this sort of thing. It resonates with them in ways they don't quite get. You'd be surprised to see what some people say at times when an accident occurs and it makes them feel something. I used to say some extremely stupid things myself, until I was involved in an accident and had to explain this and that in public, etc. In the end, however, this annoyance doesn't equate to squat and I'm sure you know that.

Most everyone does care deep down, they just don't know how to express it sometimes. "

What you are missing is that RIGHT NOW, THEY ONLY FEEL ANGST, FRUSTRATION, FEAR, CONCERN, UNCERTRAINTITY ETC. Maybe in 6 months to a year that will change. Right now your observations are moot. I've done rescues on MANY people, I can assure you that your assertions are incorrect. That's all I'm going to post on this. If you would like to discuss this further with PM's, I would be happy to engage in that dialog, but not on this thread.

Again, my heart felt wishes for the best possible outcome for the search for Lance.

Robert


majid_sabet


Sep 5, 2006, 8:06 PM
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update

The search for a missing Marine in Eldorado Springs Canyon has now turned to a missing-persons investigation, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.

"The ground search for missing injured hiker Lance Hering, 21, was concluded late Sunday (Sept. 3) afternoon as the effort now transitions from an active search to a missing persons investigation," states a press release from the sheriff's Commander Phil West.

"Over 100 people were officially involved with the search Sunday under the auspices of the Sheriff's Office. Untold others, recruited by family and friends, were involved in private efforts along the Mesa Trail and the open space areas south of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)," West said.

"Division Chief Dennis Hopper made the decision to call off further ground search efforts after consulting with Sheriff's Office Emergency Services personnel, search team leaders, and Mr. Lloyd Hering, Lance's father. The consensus of opinions was that, after five days' intensive effort, search and rescue personnel had searched every probable location in the Canyon and environs, and on many occasions, had re-searched the same area repeatedly," the release states.

Now confident that Hering is not within the search perimeter, the Sheriff's Office concluded its search efforts and began a missing-person investigation. Hering's father made a personal appeal Sept. 3 to his son to call home via the television and newspaper reporters present at the scene, concerned that the head injury sustained by Lance in his climbing fall late Tuesday night may have affected his memory and that he may be confused or disoriented.

The Sheriff's Office, and Hering's father, hope is that publicity, will enable the missing Marine to see the coverage and call home. Hering suffered another temporary memory loss after a fall when he was 11 years old, his father said.

The Sheriff's Office is continuing the investigation by conducting interviews with family and friends, sharing information with other law enforcement agencies and publicizing the circumstances of the young Marine's disappearance, West said. Anyone with information to offer is asked to contact Detective Steve Ainsworth at 303-441-3627.

Assisting the sheriff's search efffort were the Boulder Rural Fire Protection District, Alpine Search and Rescue, Boulder City Parks and Open Space, Douglas County Search and Rescue, Front Range Rescue Dogs, Garfield County Search and Rescue, Grand County Search and Rescue, Larimer County Search and Rescue, Rampart Search and Rescue, Summit County Search and Rescue, Western State Search and Rescue, Strasburg Fire Department, High Country Fire Protection District, and personnel from Rocky Mountain National Park. A contingent of 34 retired and active-duty Marines also participated.

The Denver Police helicopter assisted for a two days, providing a perspective from the air and using its Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) equipment to look for unattributed heat sources in the heavily-forested and rocky terrain.

Lance Hering is described as a white male, 21 years of age, 6'1" tall, approximately 180 pounds, with close-cropped blond hair in a military style cut, and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a torn black t-shirt and light-colored khaki pants. He sustained a head injury in a climbing fall hours before he disappeared and had a bandage fashioned from the fabric of his shirt wrapped around the wound.


timstich


Sep 5, 2006, 9:31 PM
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Thanks for the update, Majid.


reno


Sep 5, 2006, 10:02 PM
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A bit off topic, but I want to send my admiration to those folks who managed to keep personal politics out of this thread. It's easy to speculate and bash and insult, but a few of y'all stayed above that.

Big ups to you.... you know who you are. The rest of you can... well, use your imagination.

I hope his family gets some sort of answer soon... must be terribly difficult to deal with such a situation.


ericthebat


Sep 6, 2006, 1:22 PM
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To Leomedic,
Thanks for the detailed, concise, and well-reasoned responses to my postulates. The general trend in too many of these sorts of Forums (not spec. rockclimbing.com) is for the initial query and/or responses to become targets for scorn, condescension, or ridicule, and the conversation degenerates to petty insult exchanges.
Your firsthand description of the particulars at the scene is a reality check especially for forum readers 1000 miles away who have never been to Eldorado Canyon.
I take no pleasure in hoping for the sake of all that I am (cynically) right, that this is some awol cover up; after this length of time, should he really be missing in the canyon area, his chances are rapidly fading. Time spent means nothing compared to life lost.
I wonder if the authorities are now just trying to be especially thorough, by announcing that the blood found will be DNA-tested. That doesn't seem like a necessary or useful thing within the context of a search-and-rescue.
As I just read the most recent updates, it is now officially a missing-person case, so I suppose they're covering all their bases.
Good luck to all involved in this sad endeavor.


majid_sabet


Sep 7, 2006, 12:26 AM
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update 5/9/06

BOULDER, Colo. A team of volunteers searching for a missing marine hope a set of footprints they found could lead them to his disappearance.

Lance Hering, 21, disappeared Aug. 29 after a fall while hiking with a friend in Eldorado Canyon.

"We're very encouraged," said Rick Baum, a veteran who formed his own search team after the official search ended Sunday.

Baum's group believes Hering is disoriented and lost after suffering a head injury in a fall. The crew said the footprints match the tread on Hering's shoes.

"There might be a trail here and so consequently we're pursuing that," Baum said.

Even as the sheriff's office pursues leads outside the canyon, it entered Hering's information and fingerprints into a national crime and information computer.

"If he's contacted by a law enforcement officer and they request his identification and he provides it, it will hit and reflect him as being a missing person from Boulder, Colorado," said Commander Phil West from the Boulder County sheriff's office.

Investigators have also posted fliers at the main RTD hub in Boulder where thousands of people pass through everyday.

"We're also distributing to the homeless shelters, all the local law enforcement agencies have received it," West said. "He may have caught a ride with somebody; he may be hundreds of miles away."

The sheriff's office has volunteers with Rocky Mountain Rescue were investigating the footprints Wednesday night and will determine whether or not they will send a dog team in the canyon.

The emergency services coordinator with the sheriff's office plans to meet with the volunteers to talk about the possibility of searching the canyon further.

"Bottom line is, we're going to find him," Baum said.

The sheriff's office is also trying to rule out the possibility that Hering disappeared by choice by comparing blood recovered at the scene of his fall with his DNA.


boulderdave


Sep 7, 2006, 9:10 AM
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Update: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_4300154


killclimbz


Sep 7, 2006, 9:24 AM
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Wow, the accident was staged. Things didn't seem to make sense on this one. Looks like someone may have gone AWOL.


Partner ewtotel


Sep 7, 2006, 10:12 AM
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That moron... each and every person involved in the rescue should get five minutes alone in a room with him...


wvsupernoob


Sep 7, 2006, 11:07 AM
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In reply to:
I will be the first to apologize if he's really out there, but am I the only one who finds problems with this whole story?...

....I'm sorry, but this cries out as an AWOL ruse, and at the very least a serious interrogation of the friend is overdue....

Dude, you called it spot on! I mean, a lot of us were thinking it, but you nailed it. They'll make a "Lifetime Movie of the Week" out of this one.

Before Bil O'Riley gets ahold if it, I'll say this: I sympathise with the dude, after doing 3 Iraq tours already and not wanting a 4th, and I respect his high-school bud for helping him out to such a wild extent, but they still totally f**cked over a lot of people who were sincerely trying to rescue the man.

It's messed up.


petro


Sep 7, 2006, 11:26 AM
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According to 9 news here he admitted to helping his friend set the whole thing up.


rockscars


Sep 7, 2006, 12:38 PM
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Can't say that I blame Lance fo not wanting to go back for a second tour, but this was very poor decision making. Instead of breaking his parents' hearts, he should have just bit the bullet and served time in the brig and gotten a court-martial. I would think the penalty would be less than what he is looking at now. Not to mention the disrespect shown and intergrity lost!


leomedic


Sep 7, 2006, 2:03 PM
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As the list now knows this was a faked scenario. I took part in the search, was one of the many unofficial volunteers that went out, including another 5hrs this morning....

Last night I learned that Lance had supposedly made a $2000 ATM withdrawal some time in the past two weeks but the money had not been used for it's supposed purpose. That cash in hand and some additional tidbits into Lance's personality made me head out early this morning to review the fall site. I arived at Eldo Canyon before any of the staff.

I spent 3hrs cutting traverses up the Draw just on the off chance. Then 2hrs at the site. There were inconsistancies at the scene that I had missed the first time out when we were focused on searching. The slide track I had thought was made during the accident actually was made by one of the responders. The "fall" line was parallel to the slide marks which had lined up directly with the blood spattered rock below. That alignment had fooled me.

I am by no means an accomplished tracker, but with leisure to go over the scene it became apparent the geometries of various tracks from the trail above to the reported impact site at the bottom were incorrect. I then reviewed the trailside evidence. Lance was reported striking his head on one of the trees before tumbling down the slope. There is an impact mark on one of the trees, but it appears to be from a branch or similar object. The bark is very rough and a human head hitting the tree with enough force to leave the marks would have left hair, skin and likely blood traces. The mark and surrounding bark is pristine with no trace I came down about 1pm wondering at the inconsistencies.

On my way out I stopped at the now manned entrance shack and asked the Park Ranger if there was any official news. I was stunned to hear it was a hoax and the news released while I had been traversing up to the site.

It is an immense relief to learn we don't have a corpse in the woods up there. At the same time I am terribly disappointed in both boys and do not understand how Lance could have put his parents and family through such an emotional ordeal. I wonder if in time they will come to realize how badly they let down the people who cared enough to go out and hike that terrain searching.


majid_sabet


Sep 7, 2006, 3:17 PM
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lets change the title from FYI: fallen hiker/climber in Eldo (Lance Hering)

to FYI Pus**y hiker loose in Eldo Co.


tradmanclimbs


Sep 7, 2006, 3:37 PM
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marine fakes death to go AWOL

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