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

TNSAR Search 3/15/2014

Missing Skier Alpine Meadows

Submitted by Chris McConnell

On Saturday March 15th at 6:30pm the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue team was activated in response to a missing skier off the backside of Alpine Meadows.

The MP initially called Alpine patrol asking for help. They sent a patrol team out but didnít find him and return to the resort. Alpine patrol called 911 requesting TNSAR.

The daughter of missing person phoned a TNSAR member and provided a heads up the search was coming our way and the MPís mobile phone number was provided. TNSAR was able to connect with the missing person and walk him through how to ďdrop a pinĒ and share his location. Soon after we received his location putting him about 2 miles South of Ward Peak, near Bear Pen Creek.

Nordic One (four skiers), two of which just concluded their patrol shift at alpine meadows beginning at 04:30, were provided a ride to the top of Ward Peak and headed into the backcountry to the provided coordinates.

Meanwhile Alpine Patrol provided a Snowcat ride for Nordic three (four skiers) and Nordic Seven (five snowmobilers) followed to the top of Ward Peak.

Weather conditions were absolutely perfect, clear skies; no wind and a full moon illuminated the night sky, which aided in the rescue.

Shortly after Nordic three and sevens arrival atop Ward Peak they spotted Nordic one making their way to the MP. Nordic one requested assistance and Nordic three dropped off Ward Peak to aid in the rescue.

Nordic one indicated they had verbal contact with the MP. It took about an hour to navigate the terrain to make visual contact and meet up with the MP at about 2115. The MP was doing fine, provided water and snacks along with a warm layer and a game plan was formed to hike him out.

Nordic three split into two teams. Nordic three headed to stage at Grouse Ridge to rendezvous and Nordic four proceeded to intercept Nordic one to aid in the hike/ski out. About an hour later all the Nordic teams were together. The MP had dropped his skis earlier in the day attempting to climb up the steep terrain and was now struggling to make time/distance in his boots. A TNSAR member switched boots and gave the MP his skis to make the trip out. Meanwhile the TNSAR member now was enjoying the hike out in boots two sizes too small.

The Nordic ski teams and the Nordic sled teams both used aerial flares to hone in on each otherís location to determine a route to meet up. They proved very helpful.

The Nordic teams along with the MP descended from Grouse Rock towards Sherwood chair and were met up by the snowmobilers and Nordic 5 (two skiers) on a high bench just below Grouse Ridge for the final descent to the ICP at Sherwood. Everyone was out of the field and on their way home sometime after 1am.

SheriffDispatchCommVanTruckSkiersSnowcatsSnowmobiles
Dep Cooley
Kathy King
Chris McConnell
Melinda McAlister
Kyle O'Neil
Paul Cushing
Dirk Schoonmaker
Steve Twomey
Devin Hiemstra
Steve Kehler
Joanna Wright
Scott Meyer
Paul Honeywell
Kyle O'Neil
Kyle Railton
Alpine Meadows
Ray O'Brien
Kyle Railton
Jim Helminiak
Justin Sheaf
Chris McConnell

The goal of TNSAR is to conduct fast and safe rescues, and to help educate the public on winter safety. If you would like to help TNSAR in this cause, please use the following PayPal donate link. Thanks!

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