Seach resumes for missing hiker at Galena Creek Park
INCLINE VILLAGE – Officials are holding onto hope that a hiker missing for nearly three days in the bitter Sierra backcountry is still alive.
After temporarily suspending rescue efforts on Tuesday night due to inclement weather, visibility problems and potential avalanche danger, rescue workers resumed search operations at 5 a.m. Wednesday to find Rick Gentry, who has been missing since Sunday after going hiking in the Galena Creek Park area of Washoe County.
“We are going into this mission with the hopes of finding Rick Gentry alive,” Washoe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Armando Avina said Wednesday afternoon.
Gentry has been missing for almost 72 hours; he phoned law enforcement around 5 p.m. Sunday, Avina said, saying he was lost and not dressed for the extreme cold.
“We are using Raven (helicopter), which is taking different search groups up to a safe dropping-off site, so the groups don’t have to hike to the search area,” Avina said. “We have seven teams and 32 people up there looking right now. There are three to four people to a team, and there is medic with every team.”
A WCSO-led search Sunday night, all day Monday and throughout Tuesday was unsuccessful. Gentry was last seen Sunday afternoon in a red windbreaker and blue jeans.
On Monday evening, at approximately 7 p.m., rescue workers located a snowshoe, a fanny pack and a black glove believed to have belonged to Gentry, Avina said; the discarded equipment is a symptom that Gentry may be suffering from hypothermia.
Temperatures dipped into single digits overnight Tuesday.
“Our information indicates he is a skilled hiker,” Avina said Tuesday.
Galena Creek Park is located off Highway 431, about halfway between Incline Village and Reno.