SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (CBSLA/AP) — A 33-year-old Austin man who went missing in the snow four days ago after summitting Mt. Whitney in the Sierra Nevada was rescued Sunday evening.
Undated photos of Edward Lee Alderman, who was rescued May 23, 2021, after going missing on Mt. Whitney four days prior in the Sierra Nevada. (National Parks Service)
Edward Lee Alderman was last seen Thursday after he and a hiking partner were separated somewhere near the summit, rangers at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks said.
He was reported missing on Friday. After a ground and air search, Alderman was found Sunday evening near Timberline Lake, several miles west of the summit of Mt. Whitney, according to the National Parks Service.
He was injured and fatigued, but alert, despite exposure to subfreezing temperatures, NPS said.
The ground search aided by crews from the Inyo County Sherriff’s office was delayed due to a winter storm in the mountains on Friday and Saturday.
At an elevation of more than 14,500 feet, Mt. Whitney is the tallest summit in the Sierra Nevada.
It was believed that Alderman had intended to summit Whitney on Thursday and return on the same day to trail camp.
He was found thanks to a tip from hikers who reported hearing a voice near Timberline Lake early Sunday morning, NPS said.
He was taken to by helicopter to a hospital to receive medical attention.
It’s unclear how he and his hiking partner were separated.
“We are thrilled and relieved to report that Mr. Alderman is alive, safe, and on his way to definitive medical care,” Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Incident Commander Dave Fox said in a statement. “With large numbers of people heading into the wilderness this summer, we urgently remind everyone to prepare carefully for their trips and understand that there are real risks out there. We know that Mr. Alderman and his loved ones have been through a lot in the last few days and we’re so glad he’s going home.”