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

TNSAR Search 12/24/2015

Splitboarder near Castle Peak

Submitted by Doug Read

Early in the morning of Dec 23rd we got a call out for a mutual aid to Nevada County Sheriff Dept, so off I went to get the truck and head for the hills at Donner Summit. Dirk was at the garage a head of me of course, but he was getting the Cat truck for Scott Myer. We had 6 skiers and so we made up 3 teams and headed up in the cat.

Scott and Sara C got us pretty well up to the base of the pass. We skinned up to the pass in about 10 minutes, after doing a beacon check. Snow was powder on a hard base, some places were rain crust and very slippery and dangerous. We took our headlamps off at the pass and then it happened, the clouds lifted and you knew this was a very special day indeed. WOW, Castle Peak lit up and it was spectacular. Dirk and Brian headed up to Andesite Peak, Bernie and Paul K headed up the ridge to Castle and Eric Stendell and I headed for the Peter Grub Hut. As Eric and I skied along it just got clearer and clearer and we were in a state of amazement over the ski, the mountains and the covered trees. Powder to solid ice and then powder again and it got your attention, it was a little hazardous. Eric saw a track down below in the trees, it was powdery down there, so we headed for that. We got on the track and getting down on my knees, I found the track to be a snowshoe, not a snow boarder track. So we kept going towards the hut. Came upon some more tracks and this time one of them stopped, took off his skins and started down. We surmised it to be a boarder, deskinning, but then found ski tracks down below. However, we also thought we had a boarder track mixed in with the ski track, so we decided to follow it. The plan was to follow it out and then go on to the hut, if nothing came of the tracks. About 5 minutes later we came upon a tent and the missing boarder was inside. He was fine and had done the right thing the night before, he STOPPED and set up camp.

Turns out he was less than a half mile from the hut. He had skin problems, so he decided to park it for the night. Fancy tent, nice guy, we helped him pack up and waited to get going on out. It was pretty cold, but we finally got moving. We called the other two teams to come on over, as we knew they were close and it would be better for them to keep moving versus sitting around on the pass waiting for us. They also brought snowshoes, just in case. The six of us skied him out to the pass and to the TNSAR cat and we all came on out. The sunrise was so fantastic, the camaraderie of the TNSAR teams was so special, a wonderful morning. I think NCSO was very appreciative of our efforts and it is nice to have such a good working relationship with them.

Sage Barrasso
Laura ReadBernie Mellor
Doug Read
Dirk Schoonmaker
Eric Stendell
Brian Sheckler
Paul Kitano
Joe Pace
Kyle O'Neal
Scott Meyer
Sara Carbonari

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