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

TNSAR Search 9/29/2013

Ice Lakes Wayward Hiker

Submitted by Chris McConnell

TNSAR was dispatched about 9 pm Sunday night for an overdue hiker whose car was still at Ice Lakes Lodge. He had hiked out to Mariah Point before and that was where is wife thought he would go. 2 ATVs (Ray and Chris) 2 motorcyclists (Scott and Todd) and 3 hikers (Devin, Doug and Dirk) arrived at the trailhead about 9:40 and started combing the back trails of Royal Gorge as well as driving down the Cedars Road and across the Cedars Road to the Sugarbowl area. No signs of the hiker were found, other than one possible set of footprints in the single sandy spot on the trail to Mariah Point. All other parts of the road were hard packed from recent rains. At 3:30 am the searchers concluded their efforts and a second callout for the morning was organized.

The orange adorned day crew of ~25 and a crew of deputies arrived at about 8 am along with two TNSAR ATVís (Scott and Ray). The teams searched for the next 5 hours with no avail only to have the MP walk of the woods on Soda Springs Road, not far from the Cedars. In his sleep deprived state and apparent desperation for assistance the MP proceeded to lay down on the road in front of an oncoming logging truck. Thank goodness the logger spotted our MP prone in the road and stopped to investigate. A phone call to 911 informed ICP that the logger had our MP.

TNSAR ATVís promptly headed to the location where they offered the MP any medical assistance, food, water and a ride. The MP wanted to stay in the warm logging truck so they all proceeded up Soda Springs Road towards the ICP. The MP arrived at the ICP at approximately 2:30pm.

During the debrief it was discovered the MP had decided to drop off Mariah Point in search of water and when he arrived at the American River lost his way trying to find his was back. He did indicate that he heard searchers shouting his name during the night but was unable to get a response. At some point during the night he stuffed his light jacket with Pine needles and hunkered down in the Manzanita.

It was a heartfelt reunion with his family and all the searcher observing. The MP was extremely grateful and was not able to hold back the tears in his appreciation of all the efforts. Definitely a happy ending for all parties.

John Lasagna

Terri Viehmann
Brenda McConnell
Doug Read
Kathi Chilcote
John Chilcote
Dirk Schoonmaker

Doug Read
Dirk Schoonmaker
Devin Heimstra

Ray O'Brien
Scott Baumgardner
Chris McConnell

Scott Meyer
Todd Bassett

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