Hey, just curious about any information or reports that made the south slopes seem more likely than the north/northwest slope?
A witness that came forward saw her descend several hundred feet down the south drainage and a man-tracker found prints consistent with her boots and poles further down the same drainage.
I will need to review the accounts to be sure I am thinking of the same reports. I do recall there was some discussion about whether Sam might have descended S/SW from the summit to get a better vantage point (for a picture perhaps, we can only guess - but Sam (and Kevin when he tagged along) did have a collection of summit shots from places other hikers might not have felt comfortable).
I'm afraid the only witness report of Sam near the summit that I recall as being confirmed was the report of Sam ascending towards the summit, and this was widely touted as the last confirmed sighting of Sam. If there were confirmed (or at least well detailed and objective) reports of her descent, I am not aware of them. I know there was a lot of noise to sort through, and I am not a professional noise sorter.
I do recall the report of the boots and poles, but felt that this was not conclusive since Vesper was already a busy mountain, exploding to a circus for the duration of the search. To satisfy the question of whether the imprints belonged to Sam, 'consistent' needs to change to 'matching', but this is only my opinion.
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