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

TNSAR Search 6/19/2013

The Boy from La Mancha

Submitted by Chris McConnell

The TNSAR pagers went off at approximately 10pm on Wednesday June 19th in response to a missing 16 year old boy last seen about 11am on Pineland. The missing boy, an exchange student from Spain, bumped into the host family on Pineland and indicated he was going for a 1-2 hour hike. The host family headed out for the day and returned about 6 or 7pm to discover their exchange student had not returned from his hike. After repeated text/calls they found his cell phone at the house. The description indicated he was wearing jogging shorts, t-shirt, tennis shoes and carrying his iPod.

TNSAR hasty searchers responded to Pineland at approximately 10:30pm. Nordic 1 (2 hikers) proceeded to clear Ward Creek from Stanford Rock turnoff and then onto Paige Meadows to Tahoe City. Moto 1 (2 riders) covered the trail network of Paige Meadows then onto the Stanford Rock loop from Ward Creek including the exit to Timberland. No signs were discovered and both teams exited the field at approximately 7:30am.

The second operational period included PCSO SAR Ground and OHV team members in addition to TNSAR.

No sign of the missing person had been discovered until Sgt. Hunt radioed to inform the teams that our missing person has exited the wilderness near Foresthill. PCSO deputies met the missing person at the Foresthill sub-station where they interviewed him.

Apparently the 16 year old hiked out of Ward Creek and over Ward Peak into the Granite Chief Wilderness. After he got lost, he just kept walking and somehow he started towards the Hell Hole drainage. He found a trail and continued walking west into the Grayhorse Valley and then on to the Chipmunk Ridge Jeep Road. Then some old guy from Citrus Heights was out on Chipmunk Ridge heading into Grayhorse when he came upon the kid. The kid asked how he could get back to Lake Tahoe, and seeing since it was approximately 40 miles from where the kid started, the old guy picked up the kid and drove him to Foresthill. The old guy called PCSO at the first cell signal he could get which was on Ralston Ridge approximately 3 miles above Oxbow

The deputy’s report indicated the 16 year old has multiple scratches and cuts, worn out shoes and severe blisters on his feet otherwise in good shape.

Sage Barrasso
Dave Hunt
Dep. Cooley
Marty Schoonmaker
Brenda McConnell
Rick Miller
Matt Jacobs

Matt Jacobs
Jack Broadhurst
Russ Viehmann
Pete York
Kurt Gooding
Joanna Wright
Steve Kehler


Todd Bassett
Chris McConnell

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