Missing Sierra Nevada hiker found dead; wife saw his tracking dot stop moving

Weather from Tropical Storm Hilary hindered the recovery

A California man who went missing while backpacking in the Sierra Nevada was discovered dead, having apparently fallen on a rocky slope.

Stephen Bloor, 57, of Santa Ana, was reported missing by his wife after his GPS tracking device remained stationary for hours, according to the Mono County sheriff’s office.

Bloor had set out on Friday, Aug. 18, from Devils Postpile near Mammoth Lakes on what was supposed to be a solo hike of about 180 miles to the Lake Tahoe area.

He reportedly told other hikers on the John Muir Trail that he planned to spend the first night at Garnet Lake, a 10-mile hike from Devils Postpile — but by the time he made contact with his wife at 6 p.m., he had apparently left the main trail and was near Iceberg Lake, at 10,000 feet elevation and 3 miles southwest of Garnet.

According to the Mono County Sheriff’s Office, his wife was unable to contact him by phone or satellite communication device after that, and the location transmitted by the device was not moving. She reported him missing to the sheriff.

The hiker was discovered on a steep boulder field near Iceberg Lake by searchers from the Madera and Mono county sheriff’s offices, who were assisted by a California Highway Patrol helicopter. He had died, apparently as a result of injuries sustained in a fall.

The recovery operation was postponed due to the dangers posed by the weather associated with Tropical Storm Hilary. The body was flown out on Tuesday, Aug. 22, according to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office.

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