TNSAR search Mar/24/02
TNSAR search Mar/24/02

Sugarbowl to Onion Creek
On Saturday, 3/23/02, four 19 and 20 year old snowboarders drove up from Oakland to snowboard together at Sugarbowl. Midway through the morning the group split into two pairs. Sometime after that, one pair boarded off the top of either Disney or Lincoln Peak, and got lost in the Onion Creek drainage. The other two got to their car after a day of riding but their friends never showed up- so figuring that their friends had gotten a ride back to the Bay Area from someone else, they drove themselves back home. On Sunday afternoon the two who had made it to Oakland started worrying about their friends, made some calls and figured out they might still be at Sugarbowl. A search was initiated at about 16:00 and TNSAR was dispatched at about 17:30.

CHP helicopter H20 had been in the air on Sunday afternoon, just before dark, and reported seeing tracks into the Onion Creek drainage- when TNSAR arrived at patrol, the plan was made to send 4 skiers, 2 snowmobilers and 2 snowcats down from Ice Lakes to look at these tracks. 3 skiers were kept in reserve at patrol in case these tracks were not the victims'. At about 20:00 the teams got on the tracks where The Cedars road crosses Onion Creek. It was apparent that the tracks were snowboarders, two of them, they were going all over and that they had been made since the snow stopped on Sunday morning. The skiers and snowmobilers followed the tracks in circles, up and down, found the spot where the had bivouaced for the night, including half burned dollar bills, and finally, at about 23:00 caught up with them, cold and hungry, but otherwise all right. They snowshoed down to the Cedars Road, where they were put into the snowcat and all members headed back out to Ice Lakes, arriving at about midnight.

Sheriff Com Van Dispatch Truck/Command Post Skiers Snowmobilers Snowcat Sugar Bowl Patrol
Bert Houser
Mike Harris
Jackie Thomas
Marty Schoonmaker
Peter York
Brian York
Joe Pace
Steve Twomey
Tony Bochene
Mark Johnson
Sarah Lagano
Dirk Schoonmaker
Brian Devore
Bill Koplin
Dave Gleske
Tony Bochene
Jim Zaloga
Mike Plessas