Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue, Inc. Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue, Inc.


April 2010

Rumor has it that the next TNSAR general meeting will be held at the Granlibakken Hut, Monday, April 5th, 6:30pm. The location is still just a rumor and technically “unconfirmed” at this point because of a multitude of problems TNSAR has been having with the Paparazzi. Yes, I know, “TNSAR and Paparazzi” is the quintessential oxymoron, but ever since the film crews started shooting TNSAR team members for last week’s mock search at Alpine Meadows the Paparazzi have been relentlessly pursuing TNSAR folks for cover shots for the National Enquirer, Star, and other top shelf, check-out aisle periodicals. According to reports from my own personal Hollywood moles that are embedded within TNSAR, Jimmy Smith and Dirk Schoonmaker are on location in Tijuana filming their new music video that will accompany the forthcoming iTunes release of their duet, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Famous.” I’m pretty sure their premier on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ will break all previous viewer records. Not at all sure who will be leading and who will follow, but I can’t wait to see their outfits…

Stupendously Superific… the solar Gods and Goddesses shined down on this year’s Great Ski Race. Holy cow, what a day, what a crowd, what a Great Ski Race! We had 1060 folks registered for the race and my guess is that there were 1060 satisfied customers. Our second highest turnout ever! Many, many, many thanks to all who helped make this year’s event such a ginormous success. My face is still a little sore from smiling so much. Thanks again to all our sponsors and all our skiers. I’m pretty sure we couldn’t do this race without them.

Searches…In terms of searches, March definitely started off with a bang and ended with a whimper. TNSAR pagers went off on Tuesday, March 2nd, for a missing snowshoer somewhere in the Peter Grubb hut vicinity of Castle Peak. According to the   reporting party, the single snowshoer left the hut around noon in advance of his friends who were on skis. Heavy snow was falling when the skiers arrived at the Castle Peak parking lot but their friend was nowhere to be seen. A 911 call to Nevada County initiated the first of a three day search for the missing lad. TNSAR joined the effort around 9pm Tuesday night with skiers, snowmobiles, and the Team snowcat. After a fruitless (snowshoerless?) all-night search the first batch of searchers   retired and a second batch took the helm Wednesday morning. Shortly before dusk on Wednesday afternoon the weather broke and a CHP helicopter combed the environs above and around Castle Peak. Despite excellent visibility and calm flying conditions, the helicopter was turned back to Auburn for lack of daylight. Again, searchers worked all through Wednesday night without locating the missing fellow. Thursday morning brought more clear skies and yet another batch of searchers. Finally the missing snowshoer was located by helicopter around 10am. In spite of horrendous conditions and two long, cold nights the guy was in pretty good shape. Apparently the worst part of the ordeal for him was the carbon monoxide poisoning he suffered from a poorly ventilated cookstove. The worst part of this incident for TNSAR was searching day and  night with no results. It is frustrating, disheartening, and downright exhausting to put out so much effort and realize so little gain. But persistence paid off despite the gut-wrenching desire to give up. On March 27th, TNSAR pagers went off for a slightly missing Englishman off the backside of Alpine Meadows. Apparently the gentleman couldn’t resist  the westward pull of spring corn off of Wolverine Saddle and skied all the way down to Big Springs. After making sure conditions were perfect all the way to the bottom of the drainage, the dude decided to call his friends to double check on his whereabouts. Thanks to a strong Verizon, I mean AT&T, signal, his cell phone connected with his friends who urged him to STOP. Yes indeed, old chap, wrong direction. He quickly turned around to trudge back up his tracks. Alpine patrollers left food and water for the guy somewhere along the way and TNSAR skiers went out to sample the corn and escort the gent back in bounds. Upon reflection, the Englishman remarked that skiing out here in California was bloody well different from skiing in the Alps. In fact, he declared that we have, "...proper wilderness out here..." Not at all like the Alps where, "...there are villages on the backside of every mountain." I hesitate to even call this a search, I mean, Crikey, everyone was back home in time for kippers and tea. These were TNSAR’s 12th and 13th searches (so far) for the 2009/2010 season.

2010 Campaign…it’s that time again…Don’t forget, annual Team elections will be held at the next meeting so sharpen up your pencils and draft those stump speeches.

RIP…TNSAR hangs its' collective head low as we all bid farewell to Rode, Doug Read’s number one compatriot for the past 13 years and TNSAR’s unofficial, four legged mascot extraordinaire. Words will forever fail to express the depth of Doug’s loss and the boundless compassion that we all send in Doug and Laura's direction.


Suddenly all teared up...




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