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Posted: 9/6/2021 9:47:05 AM EDT
Cause of death investigation is underway. A lifetime outdoor enthusist/farm girl with parent's coincidentally that run a nonprofit looking for lost people; had no idea which trail she took or the ability to determine she was ever missing. Her dogs and gear were left behind and she was found in a steep rocky place. It will be interesting to find out what happened. Even in VA, always let people know of your agenda, go armed, bring gear, consider extended comms/tracking features. I'm sure we have plenty of local off trail stories of poor planning/preparation. RIP Jen
Here's a local video that has the most informative lead up to the disovery of her fate:
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Hiking in the wilderness has some inherent risk, especially if you go alone, which I have done. I know I have been on some ridges elk hunting in Colorado where a few bad steps would lead to a 100 ft fall and no one would be looking for me for a long time. Any thing that leaves you out overnight can become a real problem if you weren't prepared to stay overnight can put you in serious risk of hypothermia, especially in high mountains. A satellite phone is a good accessory to have, but in the mountains and in cover reception can still be spotty. Sad outcome for sure.
Used to hunt by myself at home all the time. Some days (the best ones usually) were 18 or 20 mile walks through/around the old strip mines, farms, haul roads, etc. grouse and turkey hunting with my dog. Two sandwiches, a box of shells, my shotgun and the dog. I'd tell grandma I was going hunting over on a;slk creek, or out around a;lkj ridge and back. Not sure she knew where some of those places were, but she could have told someone where to start looking if I'd not come home around dark (got home after dark a few times).
Many times, when you're used to doing certain things, you don't give the possibilities of danger/injury a lot of thought. It's just what you do. Sometimes your habits bite you.
I wonder what she saw, or what she was looking to do that made her decide to leave her dogs behind and head into the woods by herself? A dog is about the best early warning system you can have with you.
Mutual acquaintances tell me Jen recently broke up with her BF (he was suppose to be on the trip) . Her body was found Sunday afternoon, but not extracted until Tuesday. It's reported that high winds kept the helo at bay. However, there's also currently an investigation underway. If you desire, check out Grinnell Glacier Overlook, that is a difficult rated trail where her body was found. Very weird that no one knew her itinerary and she left gear and dogs behind.
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