Hope is fading by the hour at this point, but rescue teams in Nepal say a hiker who has been missing 12 days could well be alive—assuming he merely got lost and not seriously injured in a fall. Rescuers with four trained dogs are combing the area of the Himalayas where 47-year-old Dennis Lee Thian Poh of Kuala Lumpur was last seen on April 5. The goal is to reunite him with his wife before their second wedding anniversary on Saturday, reports the Malay Mail Online. Family and friends have set up a Find Dennis page on Facebook.
In a more in-depth look at the search for Lee, NPR reports that his crucial mistake was walking ahead of his hiking group, alone, on treacherous terrain. He either didn't see or ignored signs warning precisely against it, and it's not clear whether his guide informed him. "People always underestimate the mountains," says an official with the rescue outfit SAR Dogs Nepal, which is leading the search. "The mountains are not your friends. So many people believe they can do it alone." One sliver of hope: Other hikers have survived longer stretches before being found, and Lee, an amateur hiker, at least had a warm jacket, a compass, and some muesli. (Read more hikers stories.)