Missing California Couple Found Dead on ‘Experts-Only’ Climbing Route

Andrew Niziol and Patty Bolan were found dead on May 9 after being reported missing days earlier by a friend

<p>George Rose/Getty</p> Snow-capped mountain range

George Rose/Getty

Snow-capped mountain range

Two mountain climbers who were reported missing on Tuesday, May 7, while on an "experts only" climbing route on Mt. Whitney in California have been found dead.

The climbers were identified as Andrew Niziol of South Lake Tahoe, and Patty Bolan by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) on Thursday, May 9, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Niziol, 28, and Bolan, 29, were climbing on an "experts only" Mountaineer’s Route on the mountain, located in Sequoia National Park, with their friend Ethan Michael Cannaert when the trio got separated, The Los Angeles Times reported. The group was descending after reaching the 14,500-foot summit when they got separated.

Cannaert wrote in a post to a Facebook group for Mt. Whitney that he expected to meet up with the pair at a spot called "The Notch," a flat spot that climbers often use as a rest stop, according to the paper.

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"I waited there for over an hour and was forced to move down the chute to escape the cold wind, but never saw them,” Cannaert wrote in the post, per The Los Angeles Times.

On Thursday, May 9, the Inyo County Sheriff's Office (ICS0) confirmed in a post on Facebook that the climbers had been found dead, although Niziol and Bolan weren't named in the post.

Cannaert called ICSO around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday to report his friends missing, the sheriff's office said.

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"Inyo County Search & Rescue initiated a search utilizing a helicopter and foot teams to search the area," the department added. "Tragically, both hikers were later discovered deceased." The bodies were found in Tulare County and identified by the Tulare County Coroner.

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In his final post on Instagram on May 5, Niziol expressed gratitude for his life of climbing and adventure.

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"If I could go back in time and show 12 year old me what my life is now, I'd make myself so proud 🥹," he captioned a photo on Instagram posing with Bolan, whom he called "the most fun person" he's ever met.

"This is the kind of living I've dreamed about for 15 years. I've finally surrounded myself with people to share these types of experiences with and I couldn't be more thankful," he continued.

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