Kris Fowler, 34, aka as “Sherpa” to fellow hikers is from Beaver Creek, Ohio. He was last seen October 12th near White Pass PCT/Washington St and his credit card charges also stopped after Oct. 12.
Fowler decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. The 2012 book by Cheryl Strayed and subsequent 2014 movie “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail“>Wild” has been responsible for raising the popularity of the hiking trail. Wikipedia describes it as a “long-distance hiking and equestrian trail closely aligned with the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, which lie 100 to 150 miles east of the U.S. Pacific coast.” It spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington.
Fowler left Campo, Calif. which is near the Mexico border on May 7th to start his hike. He walked for months and loosely followed the trail and would also stop to sightsee or stay the night in a small town. He kept in touch with family and friends and put updates on his Facebook page. Eventually, Fowler ended up hitching a ride to White Pass, and went into a small store to have coffee. His family found out later that he was undecided about whether he should try hiking because of bad weather that was coming. His last known cellphone signal was at 5:43 p.m. on Oct. 12. There has been possible sightings of him in the Cle Elum and Mazama areas, but nothing has been confirmed.
“He started his hike is southern Calif. on Mothers Day May 8,” said Sally Guyton Fowler, Kris’ mom. “He is an amateur photographer and took many wonderful photos along the way. He enjoyed the hike so much he would stop in beautiful parks and hike other areas, slept on the dunes in Oregon and listened to the whales at night and enjoyed the little towns.” Fowler’s ended up being behind about 4 weeks. When he got to Whitecaps on Oct. 10, he decided to rest in Backwood for three days.
“He hitched back to the Kracker Barrel at Whitepass on the 12th and told the store clerk his cell phone charger was not working, but he was heading to Snoqualmie,” said Sally. “He tried to call his dad but didn’t make contact. He texted two friends. And as far as we know. He got on the trail. The next few days were very bad storms of rain and cold. We think he stayed in a cabin for several days that had wood and food, and we think he stayed there for many days.”
Sally believes that Kris hiked 6 miles then ran into bear hunters, who he spoke briefly to, but from there she doesn’t know if he got off the trail or kept working towards Canada. Although Kris keep in contact with his parents every couple of weeks through six months, after Oct. 12 his family has not heard from him.
“There has been no card activity. No phone,” said Sally. “He had a Spot GPS device and did not activate it. His friends and family are very worried. Myself, my boyfriend and my brother spent 10 days in Washington State during the height of the search.”
A team of searchers have searched the 100-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington, but according to the Yakima Herald, two hunters talked with Fowler on Oct. 22 at Blowout Mountain in early November. With that information the family believes Fowler made it past where they thought he may have stopped and was farther along the trail than they first thought.
Sally wants to remind every one that if they think they see Kris, to take a picture and call 911 or the number for the Yakima County Sheriff Dept. on the flyer.
Bring Kris Fowler/Sherpa Home Facebook page has over 5000 followers from all over the country and world. Click here to get the latest information about the search.
Hikers have individually reported back to Bring Kris Fowler/Sherpa Home Facebook page and here you will find a Spreadsheet available that can be filled out with undated information meant to help facilitate information/searched areas.
The Fowler family has started a GoFundMe account to help raise money to continue to search for Kris.
“We ask that if you have any discretionary funds that you would consider donating to help us ensure Kris returns home, safely. Any funds, generously donated, will be used to aide search and recovery crews and/or expenses we may incure for bringing Kris home. Please understand that this is an effort we didnt want to undertake, but we have come to realize that we cannot do it alone. We fully understand if this is not someting you can do at this time, but we are SO APPRECIATIVE if you can. Any funds left over at the completion of this journey will be donated to individuals and groups that offered their generous support along the way.”
The public is still searching and are not likely to give up soon.
Kay MacIntyre posted, “I talked to Whistlin Jack Lodge this morning and they have heard about Kris but do not have Flyers and information. www.whistlinjacklodge.com Chinook Pass Hwy 410”
Terri Stewart posted, “I have friends that volunteer for the FS and guide some of these snowshoe walks. I know they are aware of Kris, because they are also associated with King County SAR. I just wanted to let you know that at least some of them do know. And they will see this message when I post it on FB. Of course, the wisest course is to keep getting the flier out there as many times as possible.”
Sarah Violet posted, “There is a flyer posted in Dans Market in Leavenworth.”
Please share this story to help bring awareness that Kris is out there and needs to be found.
Please note there was a photo of a man in a Brazilian Hospital that I posted a while back that was thought to resemble Kris. He has been identified as a missing man from Canada. Read more here.
#PCT #PacificCrestTrail #KrisFowler #hiking #Sherpa