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


November 2016

Like Going Back To School:

The first meeting is like the first day of school. I am not saying everybody had on new clothes and were sporting fresh haircuts but everybody was milling about sharing stories of the summer. Of course some people hang out together over the summer and of course it is always possible to bump into team members out and about in our collective small towns but there is a certain synergy when we all converge on the little Granlibakken lodge. It is always great seeing everybody at the first meeting of the year especially when it is coupled with delicious treats from Scott and Debra. Thanks as always for feeding the team!!

And although I don’t recall there being any Peanut Butter in that dinner, it sure was mentioned numerous times. Like a crazy amount. Like someone was nuts about it…so to speak.

Perhaps there is a sticky story yours truly is unaware of as I live a simple life in Truckee. Not like the people nearer the Lake and their lakeside lifestyle.


Or is it something more prophetic?


I guess only our President knows? The team’s President that is. I won’t even get into next week’s elections….


The Saga of Sage:

It is with heavy hearts and hearty congratulations that we say good bye to our Sheriff Sage. Sage, who came racing (literally) onto the scene of a search, has worked very hard and was promoted to Sergeant. For those who missed the meeting, Sage got up and gave a very sweet farewell speech that was followed by other team members shared stories of her involvement on searches. She has always been a welcome addition to our team with her smile, her positive attitude and her "lets get this done" techniques. Although we will miss her, for now, we wish her well in her endeavors. We hope to have her back someday overseeing our so often nocturnal adventures. Happy trails Kiddo!


As a going away gift, Kim Meyer made a beautiful belt buckle that exemplifies not only her involvement with our team (the TNSAR logo is fractured amongst the face) but also Sage’s love of horses.Put all together, I am not sure of the 3 which impresses me the most. Quite the package deal!


And who says it is always good to get things done on time? I was laid low with the flu and missed the November 1st deadline (more of a guideline than a deadline). Luckily, as in the interim, I received this from Miss Sage herself:


Looking good Sarge! Sporting your new buckle in style! You are truly "out standing" in your Field!!

 Waitaholdit. Sarge. Sage. Sarge Sage! Well that was only a matter of time.


Great Trail Race


Big Blue Adventure ran the first ever Great Trail Race this year.

From their site: Big Blue Adventure, LLC (BBA) is an event production, management, and marketing company based in Lake Tahoe. BBA specializes in creating, owning and operating, promotion and implementation of popular sporting events. Our focus is ensuring that participants, sponsors, spectators, and the media are rewarded with the best possible experience.

This alternative race incorporated both bicycles and runners on a similar path to the Great Ski Race. Although it was not run by TNSAR,  proceeds went to benefit our team.

Like our annual event, it was not without some stumbling blocks. Little things like they were not sure that the Forest Service was going to allow them to get permits, they had to change the direction of the race at the zero hour  (including obviously the start and finish), a little beer sponsor snafu and hmmmm….. Yup…sounds like the GSR some years.

At least they didn’t have to stress the snow issue and instead had beautiful weather. That being said..an October race…you never know on the snow.

From their site again:

TNSAR has been largely supported by its primary fundraiser — “The Great Ski Race,” held at the beginning of March. In some years, the event was the largest cross-country ski race west of the Mississippi. But in recent winters, the race has been cancelled due to lack of snow. We hope the Great Trail Race will grow into a new and reliable funding source for TNSAR annually in October.

The GTR raised $2,000 this year for the team. Thanks Chaco & Todd!!



Our own Joe Pace, longtime team member, hammering his bike down the trail!!

Courtesy Lefrak Photography

Downed Aircraft

The team was called out on an inter county search last month for a downed aircraft. Our hardy responders were summoned to South Shore airport where they would be transported by helicopter in to the back country to the approximate area where the plane was supposed to have gone down.

I spoke with one searcher who provided me with the following details:

Our team arrived early at the South Shore airport only to have then wait hours before they could get airborne.  

It was then asked of the team if it would be okay if it got too late if they would be willing to spend the night or hike out 18 miles. I'm sorry...what? Delayed departure means we will have to do what? I guess that added some incentive to be a vigilant searcher.

They touched down in a LZ that could accommodate the chopper and deployed into the field.

There was 6” of  snow that did not allow enough for skis but actually helped in navigating over the tortuous terrain of small rocks in the area. Ron was given the role as radio operator. The rest split up and began the search. There was a lot of overhead air traffic as the search continued. Turns out a high flying plane is what I was told noticed a discrepancy that turned out to be the site of the wreckage.

Interestingly enough, our aircraft locating device, the ELP (technical term for the thing with all the antennae) did no good as to locating the downed craft. Even within 100 hundred yards or so. It is possible that the transmitter or transponder on the aircraft was damaged in the crash itself.

As members of our team arrived at the crash, they were joined by members of another team. As usual, when working with teams outside of ours, it is always important to realize that they may engage in different protocols than those we follow. Heck… we can get that within our own team at times.  Nonetheless, it is good to be aware of that and to always be on the lookout for inconsistencies. And more importantly be aware of yourself and the situation. That is not to say you should criticize other teams, their management style or their leaders but be cognizant of their methods and insure at all times it does not jeopardize your safety. Whether it is an aircraft, an avalanche, high angle rescue or any of the other situations we may encounter. Your safety first, your team second, all else third.

Unfortunately, there were no survivors in this aircraft tragedy. As always, our condolences go out to the families who have lost a loved one.

Shaping up?

Could this be the start of a well overdue winter?



Lots of trainings coming up so be sure to get your train on. Training is an essential part of the Team's activities--new skills are learned, old skills honed, dormant skills rewakened. Meet the people you rely on when the snow is in your face and the wind is at your back. Check the website for current listings and always check in with instructor before you go. Also listed is the Winter Illness and Injury Symposium 2016. This year at the Incline Hyatt!

Sometimes you push the keys….sometimes they push back,


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