Authorities have confirmed Austin Shedd was found alive in Kings Canyon National Park. The 13-year-old boy went missing during a hike on Sunday afternoon. Although he was located by a trail crew on Monday evening, a rescue flight could not be arranged until Tuesday.
Austin, his father, and a family friend were eight hours into a hike from Arrow Peak to Bench Lake. At approximately 2:30 pm, the older men stopped to make lunch. According to reports, Austin continued along the trail as he expected his father and his friend to catch up.
As reported by San Fransisco Gate, it “only took a few minutes” to make the sandwiches. However, Austin Shedd was nowhere to be found. The men searched the wilderness for nearly four hours, but they could not find any sign of the missing teen.
Prior to stopping for lunch, the three hikers agreed to exit “Taboose Pass in the Inyo National Forest enroute to Bench Lake.” However, the men were unable to locate Austin along the planned route.
Austin’s father, Dr. Rick Shedd, eventually hiked back to Owens Valley, while his friend continued to search. Officials said the teen was reported missing at approximately 2:00 am on Monday.
At least 25 National Park Service officials searched the region on foot and by helicopter. Authorities said the Austin Shedd vanished near the Arrow Peak at an elevation of nearly 13,000 feet.
Nearly 20 hours later, Austin Shedd was located by a trail crew. Although he was forced to spend another night in the wilderness, authorities said the teen was safe.
As discussed by 100 Summits, the Grenadier Range offers a challenging course with magnificent views. Although Arrow Peak is quite popular with hiking enthusiasts, the slopes are considered “some of Colorado’s most difficult to climb.” Colorado. Lt. George Marshall, of the U.S.G.S., provides an eloquent description of the Grenadier Range:
“No where in Colorado can be found such steep slopes, such shapeless crags, such rocky and impassable ravines, such generally detestable characteristics and features as are here seen. The hard metamorphic rocks are shivered along their cleavage planes for hundreds of feet, leaving their odd pinnacles, there the likeness of the shattered outspread wings of some gigantic bird, and again of the grim grinning teeth of death.”
Although it was certainly challenging, Austin Shedd survived more than 24 hours alone on Arrow Peak.
[Image via SF Gate and SWA Guides]