Body recovered at Mt. Whitney

Staff Writer

Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was contacted on Oct. 18 at approximately 4:30 a.m. regarding a fall victim. According to the reporting party, he was franticly woken up at approximately 2:45 a.m. at Outpost Camp by a hiker whose companion had fallen and was believed to be badly hurt or deceased. The reporting party activated his emergency satellite messenger and also descended the trail until he had enough reception to make a 911 call.
Inyo Search and Rescue and China Lake Mountain Rescue Group responded to the Whitney area, with the assistance of CHP H-80 out of Apple Valley. The fall victim, who was identified as 36-year-old Michael Powell from Irvine, Calif., was discovered deceased in a chute near Mirror Lake.
Further interviews with Powell’s hiking companion indicated that the two-person team summited Mt. Whitney on Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. While descending they lost the trail in the dark above Mirror Lake; Powell was heard falling along with the sound of tumbling rocks. After many attempts to call out to Powell and to attempt to locate him, his hiking partner decided to find her way back to Outpost camp and get help.