At noon, on Tuesday, May 23rd, Dongying “Cindy” Qiu was located by SAR, deceased at the base of a frozen waterfall near Outpost Camp on the Mt Whitney Trail west of Lone Pine. It is believed that she fell approximately 60 feet through a snow chute at the top of the waterfall (located on the southwest side of Outpost Camp, about a quarter mile off trail). Ms. Qiu went missing on Sunday, May 21st while hiking the Mt. Whitney Trail with two
“This is an incredibly tragic situation and based on the extreme
snow conditions in the backcountry, this could have happened to
anyone,” stated Inyo County Sheriff’s Corporal Nick Vaughn. “The
entire search crew and the Sheriff’s Office extend their most
sincere condolences to the Qiu family and friends during this very
This was the second day of searching for the missing hiker.
Support for the search was provided by Sierra Madre SAR, San
Bernardino SAR, China Lake Mountain Rescue Mountain Rescue Group, Inyo SAR and aerial support provided by Army National Guard and CHP helicopter H-80.