TNSAR Search 02/23/2008

17 Year Old Snowboarder at Northstar

Sometime Saturday afternoon, as a major 24"-36" storm was hitting the Tahoe area, a 17 year old snowboarder left Northstar ski area in the area of Hellsgate on the backside. At some point he made a cell phone call and alerted Northstar Patrol that he was lost. They dispatched a patroller to Hellsgate to look for a track and to start following it - alone and on alpine skis.

At approximately 7:00 TNSAR was dispatched, and in the middle of a major storm team members made their way to Northstar. Russ only slid off the road into the snowbank once, and Doug only slid off the road and almost hit Russ once. Ray and Brian rode snowmobiles over from Tahoe City and started searching for tracks and Scoop and Jimmy drove the team snowcat from the garage without incident.

At Northstar, a groomer took the 5 skiers the long way round to the back of the mountain, where they met with the snowmobilers and team snowcat. Randall, Doug and Steve were taken to where the patroller's tracks were following the snowboarders tracks. Dirk and Paul were taken to where Brian had spotted another track dropping off the road into the woods.

The patroller's tracks went way down towards the Truckee River then came back up (postholing) and the team had no trouble following them.

Dirk and Paul started traversing back and forth across the slope dropping into Deer Creek and after about 20 minutes got a response to their yells and found Tommy - wet, cold and tired but otherwise doing fine. He was fed and watered and dressed in warm clothes and then given snowshoes for the 30 minute hike back up to the snowcat. At about 11:00 Tommy was taken by the team snowcat to Hellsgate, where a Northstar groomer picked him up and transported him back to the patrol room.

After dropping Tommy off, the team snowcat returned to the point where Tommy had been picked up and waited for the other team, which had met up with the patroller, and were about a 1/4 mile away from the rendezvous, working their way back.

At about 12:30 all the teams and the patroller were in the team snowcat, heading back for the long ride to Northstar. Ray and Brian set out by snowmobile back to Tahoe City.

Sheriff Dispatch Comm Van Truck Skiers Snow Cats Snowmobiles Other
Dave Hunt Kelli Twomey
Laura Read
Amy Horne
Marty Schoonmaker
Terri Viehmann
Lisa Swartz
Bill Healy Bill Wise
Russ Viehmann - TNSAR Coordinator
Randall Osterhuber
Paul Honeywell
Steve Twomey
Doug Read
Dirk Schoonmaker
Scoop Remenih
Jimmy Smith
Ray O'Brien
Brian York
Vince, Andy - Northstar Patrol