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Search is on for 11 missing hikers in Fresno County — with update

June 25, 2008 |  3:53 pm

After reading the inspirational Column One on the hiker known as Billy Goat, a breaking news story by Times staff writer Tami Abdollah about 11 missing hikers seems particularly sad. Here's an excerpt:

Authorities searched today for nine teenagers and two adults from an Outward Bound recreation program missing for a fourth day in the rugged terrain northwest of Kings Canyon National Park in Fresno County.

About 35 searchers, including mountaineers, people on horseback and spotters from a helicopter, canvassed 90 square miles at elevations of 9,000 to 10,000 feet. Missing are two experienced guides, both 30 years old, and nine teenagers, 13 to 16.

The group, along with a third adult guide, set out for a two-week hiking and climbing trip from Maxon Trailhead near the Courtright Reservoir area on June 14, said Deputy Chris Curtice, a spokesman for the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

They were last seen June 22 at Burnt Corral Meadow area. The group planned to climb Mt. Shinn, a few miles away. One of the guides left the others to check on climbing conditions, planning to meet back up with the group later that day at Red Rock Basin. But when the guide returned from checking Mt. Shinn, the group was not at the basin.

UPDATE: All 11 hikers were found safe after they called from a general store less than an hour ago. Here's an excerpt from the updated article:

Nine teenagers and two adults on an Outward Bound backpacking trip were found safe this afternoon, two days after searchers began looking for them in rugged terrain northwest of Kings Canyon National Park in Fresno County, authorities said.

Read the full article here.

—Liam Gowing