Missing Hiker Still Recovering

Published 08/21 2014 09:49PM

Updated 08/21 2014 11:28PM

The Kings Canyon National Park confirms a body found there has been identified as 46-year-old Gregory Muck, a missing hiker from Santa Cruz.

A local hiker who was rescued from the park last month says hearing about the death of Muck has made him reflect on his own experience. Gregory Hein is still recovering from a compound fracture after a boulder fell on his leg and left him stranded in the Kings National Park.

"Nine months is what my plastic surgeon has laid out for me. A timeline of when I can start doing things is completely up in the air," Hein said.

He doesn't know if he will ever be able to support the weight of a heavy backpack and venture far into the mountains again. News that a missing hiker was found dead in the same park he spent six days trying to survive saddened him.

"You don't want to have people loose their lives but being in the mountains it's like anything else you know you drive there's that possibility," Hein said.

Gregory Muck went hiking near Mount Gardiner. His wife reported him missing August 18. He went hiking alone.

Hein says he will no longer hike alone and he plans on purchasing a transponder. But hearing about Gregory Muck and other hikers has made him think about the risks he has taken.

"There's definitely instances where I've realized I've had to make considerable drops 100 foot drops or more. I'm thinking to myself this is a stupid idea," Gregory Hein.

Hein says the most important thing for family members of hikers that are lost is don't wait to call search and rescue. He also advises hikers to leave someone with a timeline of when they will return.

The latest message on a Facebook page dedicated to finding Greg Much read:

"Thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers and support. Sadly, Greg died doing what he loved."

A message Hein says he and other hikers relate to.

"It's amazing the camaraderie we all have. We're all out there. We're all experiencing the same thing and we've all found a little bliss," Hein said.

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