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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 11:53 am 
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Please keep this topic within the boundaries of stewardship. Feel free to link alternative discussions below in this wiki post but do NOT spam this topic with such discussion or invite requests.  Such posts will be deleted.

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Washington/comments/9erxip/sam_sayers_still_missing_in_washington/
2nd Reddit Thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/SeattleWA/comments/9hc0em/missing_hiker_on_vesper_peak_chaos_in_the_cascades/
Teton Gravity:  https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/321860
Facebook:  Official page and alternative facebook group no longer public

New Facebook study group created by Steve Monchak on 10/8  The Truth of the Sam Sayers Case
https://www.facebook.com/groups/698480987181194/ (no longer public on 11/8/18, reappeared as a closed group 12/7/18)


Wiki summmary last edited by Windstorm on Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:00 pm (this post can be edited by any member)
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Theresa
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 12:26 am 
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I’m not on Facebook, but I read on websleuths that they told people to stop leaving food at the trail head. So that’s positive. I’m really pissed about the plastic bags left all over the mountain with food and batteries. The idiocy of these people is tough to comprehend.

I really want to go up there next year after it melts out and pack out garbage. Hopefully the scary armed group won’t be returning.
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Bramble_Scramble
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 2:29 am 
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Schroder wrote:
Anne Elk wrote:
If you enlarge the photo put up by Bramble_Scramble on 9/20 on this page of the old thread,  you can see the big white tent on the far ridge, between the two largest trees.

This is where that looks like to me

Base Camp
Base Camp

The only thing missing in that photo is a big fire ring in front of the tent for it to be a great poster of everything you shouldn't do

Yes Shroder that is about where it's located. Here are a couple more pics.

I took apart one recent campfire ring on the ridge to Sperry and saw another in Wirtz basin at the only campsite. Both of these rings were were built on slabs. It was also the first hike I've been on in a while where I didn't see any dog poop bags or really any trash besides quite a bit of flagging before the "river" crossing. The trail has become much more eroded since I was here two or three years ago.

I'm not saying they didn't leave any trash or dig any firepits, I'm just saying what I observed. I can't even attribute those two very similar fire rings to them.

Lake Elan camp 9/19
Lake Elan camp 9/19
Lake Elan-Camp at left center
Lake Elan-Camp at left center
Lake Elan camp 9/21 crappy bino view
Lake Elan camp 9/21 crappy bino view
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Drinkupjimmy
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 2:56 am 
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Hi everybody. I was up hiking at Gothic Basin today which is very close to Vesper. Multiple people asked them a couple days ago to remove the food or get bear cans and they said they would. So I went up to check today while in the area. I had this weird feeling they hadn’t done a single thing to secure their food.

When I got there I saw a plastic bin full of soda cans and a Kobalt utility box completely unsecured and full of food. None of it is bear proof.

Also there were notes on both boxes asking for food donations. This is important as I’ve been told repeatedly by members of the group (who aren’t even in Washington state) that the box is completely empty and the volunteers are not asking for more food donations. As of 8pm September 23rd both of those statements are FALSE. Right now at Vesper trailhead there is a utility box full of food being left out unattended overnight. I just want to get the facts straight.

I emptied out the plastic bin full of soda cans and took the bin and the signs with me hoping to keep people from leaving more food. In hindsight I would have taken all of the soda cans as well because there are dozens of them being hiked into the base camp. None of this food is hiker friendly and I’m wondering how the trash will be removed. Are they going to hike down garbage bags full of soda cans and food wrappers? Are they going to helo them out? Given their track record, something tells me that they’re going to trash their base camp and leave it for us to clean up.

Multiple people have asked nicely and they’ve refused to clean it up. They propose that if someone wants it secured so badly they can come fix it themselves. I have made sure they know that they are responsible for properly storing their food up there. No one else. They say they’re coming to get it tomorrow. I don’t believe them.

We’ll be contacting the ranger station tomorrow morning. The food doesn’t even scratch the surface for my issues with all of this. The threats. The fact that they’re encouraging people to come up there and volunteer without mentioning potentially hazardous road or weather conditions. Part of me wishes I had never spoken up. I’ve received a lot of backlash and even some petty irrelevant jabs about my marriage. But I have received a lot of positive feedback in addition to the negative. People have thanked me for speaking up and cleaning up after them and doing my best to keep everyone out there safe and that means a lot to me. That was the goal!

Edit: redacted comments to keep it strictly informative.

Here are pictures of what I saw at the trailhead last night. https://imgur.com/gallery/ZYxXto8
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treeswarper
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 6:40 am 
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Pahoehoe wrote:
The guy is a felon and nobody should feel safe with him on that mountain and armed.

If that is true, you should be notifying the local sheriff.  It is illegal for a felon to be armed with a gun.

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What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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Doppelganger
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 9:06 am 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
The wood in EJ’s pix looks scrounged certainly not bought camp wood or presto logs.

EJ wrote:
The wood is scrounged dead wood, according to either one of the live videos by the mom or one of the recent status posts on the FSS facebook page.

I personally feel that even though it's "dead wood", it is very much a part of the ecosystem!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10160840071345254&set=pcb.232228334316335&type=3&theater&ifg=1

If you scroll all the way to the left in the final panorama posted here, you can see that there is a small pile of trees or limbs that clearly show cuts. Where these trees or limbs may have come from cannot be determined from the pictures, but if it was from the trees any where near camp we will be able to tell immediately next time any of us are walking through.

If you can take a screenshot of and/or save these images when they're posted. They provide an important picture of the area before and during Operation Occupy Vesper, and will be important for impact assessment in the future, official or otherwise. Content posted to the FB site should be considered fluid, subject to editing and/or removal including the photos.
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Doppelganger
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 9:19 am 
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AlpineRose wrote:
Sorry, buddy, carrying a tool, any tool, implies a willingness to use said object.  Surely one doesn't carry because they think it's a good luck charm, like, say, a rabbit's foot or a St. Christopher medal.  So I think generalizations are warranted in this case  - as in see my first sentence.  For example, I carry an EpiPen, not because I want to use it, but I will if I have to.

"Last resort in self defense"?????????????  What on earth does that even mean?  Obviously, it depends on who is interpreting what that means.  I don't trust that bunch up there to think it means what you or I think it might mean.  They have so far shown a serious lack of judgment in their operation.  So my concern is for whatever/whoever it is they feel "threatened" by, whether it's wildlife attracted to their food, hikers/climbers up there enjoying the last few days of glorious fall weather, or an FS/LE person checking things out.  A concern I think falls into the category of "stewardship".   

Burck17 may not have seen the video(s) where Carr has made threats and expressed his willingness/eagerness for action. Based on Carr's past behavior, there should be some mention of these things here in Stewardship as precaution. There is clear risk of a confrontation, and Carr has stated in videos that he is prepared for this. This information should be available beforehand so people can be aware of the consequences.
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Ski
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 9:28 am 
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Jean Fike, in an email of 09/24/18 @ 08:53 PDT wrote:

DNR staff visited the camp site and met with the search and rescue party. The small party is well-organized and comprised of experienced hikers. They are acting responsibly and taking steps to minimize their impact. Garbage is hiked out as supplies are hiked in. I spoke with a staff member who visited the site and they did not see a box like this.

They tried while on site to determine if the camp location is on DNR or USFS managed property and were unable to do so, we believe it is close to the boundary and we will continue to work together. This is a difficult and emotional time for all involved. We will continue to monitor the situation.

Jean Fike
Region Manager
Northwest Region
Washington State Department of Natural Resources

(* The "box" referred to in the first paragraph is the plastic "tote" container being used to store food products shown in the photos posted above. *)

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Ski
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 9:48 am 
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Ski, in an email to Jean Fike, DNR, on 09/24/18 @ 09:48 PDT wrote:
Ms. Jean Fike, NW Region Manager, Washington State DNR
Mr. Peter Forbes, District Ranger, Darrington Ranger District, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Mr. Bob Redling, Communications and Outreach, Washington State DNR
Ms. Hilary Franz, Commissioner, Washington State DNR

Dear Ms. Fike:

Thank you for your reply regarding the “search” operation being conducted near Vesper Peak.

Unfortunately, observations noted by a member of nwhikers are completely opposite of those made by your staff members in regard to the plastic box being used for food storage (which according to “facebook” posts is located at the trailhead.)

nwhikers.net member Drinkupjimmy, in his post of 09/24/18 @ 02:56 PDT wrote:


(* edited for brevity *)

Hi everybody. My wife and I were at Gothic Basin today which is very close to Vesper. We asked them a couple days ago to remove the food or get bear cans and they said they would. So we went up to check today while we were in the area. I had this weird feeling they hadn’t done a single thing to secure their food. I was right! Color me shocked!

When we got there we saw a plastic bin full of soda cans and a Kobalt utility box completely unsecured and full of food. None of it is bear proof. I was told that because the Kobalt box looks similar to a certified bear proof box that it should be fine. Who wants to volunteer to go tell the bears and raccoons that? Anyone?

Also there were notes on both boxes asking for food donations. This is important as I’ve been told repeatedly by members of the group (who aren’t even in Washington state) that the box is completely empty and the volunteers are not asking for more food donations. As of 8pm September 23rd both of those statements are FALSE. Right now at Vesper trailhead there is a utility box full of food being left out unattended overnight. I just want to get the facts straight.

My wife and I emptied out the plastic bin full of soda cans and took the bin and the signs with us hoping to keep people from leaving more food. In hindsight I would have taken all of the soda cans as well because there are dozens of them being hiked into the base camp. None of this food is hiker friendly and I’m wondering how the trash will be removed. Are they going to hike down garbage bags full of soda cans and food wrappers? Are they going to helo them out? Given their track record, something tells me that they’re going to trash their base camp and leave it for us to clean up.

here is the URL for the above post: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1139394#1139394

As noted in my previous communications, there are a number of concerns regarding this “search” effort being made, the food storage issue being but one of them.

There are one of two possibilities here: (1) Your staff members aren’t as observant as we would hope they would be, or (2) nwhikers member Drinkupjimmy’s statement above is a complete fabrication. I am more inclined to believe the former is closer to the truth.

It would appear that some closer observation of this “search” operation might well be in order.

Thank you sincerely for your time and consideration.


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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Doppelganger
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 9:57 am 
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Ski wrote:
Jean Fike, in an email of 09/24/18 @ 08:53 PDT wrote:

DNR staff visited the camp site and met with the search and rescue party. The small party is well-organized and comprised of experienced hikers. They are acting responsibly and taking steps to minimize their impact. Garbage is hiked out as supplies are hiked in. I spoke with a staff member who visited the site and they did not see a box like this.

They tried while on site to determine if the camp location is on DNR or USFS managed property and were unable to do so, we believe it is close to the boundary and we will continue to work together. This is a difficult and emotional time for all involved. We will continue to monitor the situation.

Jean Fike
Region Manager
Northwest Region
Washington State Department of Natural Resources

(* The "box" referred to in the first paragraph is the plastic "tote" container being used to store food products shown in the photos posted above. *)

Uh, did the DNR staff look inside the tent? Did they look at the pictures of tupperware bins already posted to the FB page? This picture was posted 19 hours ago by Operation Occupy Vesper, there are at least two clearly visible:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10160858574490254&set=pcb.234788380726997&type=3&theater&ifg=1

Did the DNR staff look at the placement of each tent? I would say not.

Nice to know they had a deck of Cards Against Humanity choppered in to keep them from getting tired of looking at maps!!!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10160858574490254&set=pcb.234788380726997&type=3&theater&ifg=1
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Ski
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 9:59 am 
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Note that Ms. Fike's email does not make any mention of when DNR staff members visited the site.

Your questions would be better addressed to Ms. Fike. I posted the contact information on the first page of this thread.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Doppelganger
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 10:47 am 
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Ski wrote:
Note that Ms. Fike's email does not make any mention of when DNR staff members visited the site.

This is true. However, the pictures we've seen of the site seem to conflict with the report of DNR staff on several counts. I see more acquiescence from an organization* that should instead be putting its foot down and holding Operation Occupy Vesper to their agreement, at the least. More caving should only be rewarded with an honorary account at Cascade Grotto. I have posed these questions to appropriate contacts, with less indignation.

Edited for clarity.
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Ski
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 11:20 am 
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Doppelganger wrote:
"...the pictures we've seen of the site seem to conflict with the report of DNR staff..."

The photos of the "tote bin" container full of food that I posted previously here were copied from the group's "facebook" page on Friday 09/21/18.
Here they are again:

food container Vesper Peak trailhead (facebook 092118 01)
food container Vesper Peak trailhead (facebook 092118 01)
food container Vesper Peak trailhead (facebook 092118 02)
food container Vesper Peak trailhead (facebook 092118 02)

The images posted just above by Drinkupjimmy show a different container. It is possible that the "search" group's members (or supporters) thought that the blue "Kobalt" container in Drinkupjimmy's images might be "bear proof".

Perhaps speculation on my part, but I doubt that the area has any requirements (imposed by either USFS or DNR) regarding the requirement of bear-proof food storage containers, and the agencies have either chosen to give the group the benefit of the doubt, or are simply oblivious to the fact that these "tote" containers are being left out unattended, full of food, overnight.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Anne Elk
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Tom wrote:
Please keep this topiic within the boundaries of stewardship. I have removed a few recent posts that did not meet the criteria.

Thanks, Tom.   up.gif  up.gif
I was just noting that the conversation was slowly drifting back to Editorializing 2.0 on the Sayers' private SAR m.o. It's difficult not to go there! Hopefully we can restrain ourselves  so this thread doesn't have to be shut down. For those who want to hash over the other stuff, there's a thread on the subject over at WebSleuths. 

The food storage and "baggie" litter is important, but I'm more concerned about the human waste pollution, the consequences of which linger longer and are obviously more difficult to clean up (if it's even possible). I've not heard what's being done.  A "pit" up there is not acceptable. It seems to be a big problem everywhere now.  The situation at some of the Olympic Beaches is getting out of control. Rangers told me they were "working on it".
      hurl.gif 
There's only so much human traffic per year that high alpine can handle. I'd hate to see the Sayers search enterprise (and it IS now an enterprise) start up again at this level when the snow melts next year.  I've suggested before that the area may need to come under a temp or permanent permit access restriction. Even if private SAR activities don't resume next year, I predict the attention that Sayers' disappearance brought to the area is going to increase visitation to the point that negative impacts will accelerate.  I'd rather see the DNR/FS be proactive.  What say you, Vesper aficionados??

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"There are yahoos out there.  It’s why we can’t have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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pula58
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 1:55 pm 
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websleuths pulled the Samantha Sayers thread with the reason given that  too many people were violating the rules of the WS forum.

I hope discussion about the search, at least the environmental/stewardship aspects of it, can continue here......
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