CARSON CITY, NV - Sequoia National Park officials in California are confirming a body found this week is that of a missing Carson City doctor.
The body was found during the search Wednesday night for Doctor Gary Dankworth, who had been missing since Sunday, after he told friends he was planning on climbing a nearly-14,000-foot peak in the Sierra Nevada. He was an experienced backwoods hiker and climber.
Friday afternoon, a park spokeswoman announced the body has been recovered and the family has been notified.
In anticipation of the announcement, Carson-Tahoe Health issued this statement:
“The Carson Tahoe family is saddened by the news of Dr. Dankworth’s death. The past several days have been difficult and we, like the rest of the community, have been hoping for the best. We are a small, close knit community and tragedies within our medical staff affect us all. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and we will do all we can to support them during this very sad time,” said Ed Epperson, President and CEO.
Dankworth left friends camping Saturday afternoon at Finger Lake in the John Muir Wilderness of Inyo National Forest to climb the 13,855-foot Norman Clyde peak, a difficult climb in the rugged Palisades section of the Sierra that contains four of California's highest peaks.
Climbers must scramble off trail over boulder fields, past glaciers and along a ridge with steep drops to reach the base of the steep mountain to begin the actual ascent.
When Dankworth failed to return by Sunday morning, his friends hiked out and called for help.