2 Snowboarders Lost at Northstar
TNSAR search 12/20/02

2 Snowboarders Lost at Northstar

On December 19, 2002 two young men were reported missing from Northstar. Andrew Myer, age 18 and Matthew Witzel, also age 18 drove up from the Bay Area for a day of boarding. They called their parents when they arrived, but never showed at the grandparent’s house in Nevada City, as expected later that evening.

TNSAR involvement
TNSAR was dispatched at 1:00am on December 20. Team 1 was dispatched to the 704 road, Team 2 was dispatched to Pluto and down to 4 corners, and Team 3 went along Basque Rd to Lahontan. The snow machines were coming in from Tahoe City and Brockway summit.

It was a full moon evening as the teams combed around looking for tracks. Andrew and Matthew were located around 5:00am on December 20 by a Northstar groomer on the “900” road below Lookout. Apparently they ventured into closed terrain on their first run of the day from Comstock lift. They ended up on the (closed) Ironhorse run on the Backside then spent much of the day hiking around toward the Lookout chair. When a 5-hour fierce storm came through in the afternoon they settled into a makeshift shelter, then began moving again in the evening. Once they hit the 700 and 900 roads they seemed to stay on the roads, which helped the groomer in locating them.

Matthew and Andrew were found in fine condition. They were cited by the Sheriff for skiing in a closed area and will be returning to Placer County in January for their court hearing. Northstar is holding their season passes, fate to be determined by the General Manager.

1:00am page went out for two lost snowboarders at Northstar.
2:35 truck arrives at command post.
3:00 teams deployed into field.
3:11 nordic 3 on basque road heading west.
4:07 tracks found by Nordic 3 at “moonlit meadows”, determined to be old tracks from yesterday.
4:12 snowcat 2 arrives at Brockway Summit.
5:00 victims found on 900 road by Northstar snocat.

Sheriff Comm Van Dispatch TNSAR Liason Snowcats TNSAR Team 1 TNSAR Team 2 TNSAR Team 3
Dave Hunt
Dirk Schoonmaker
Karen Honeywell
Russ Viehmann
Steve Hoyt
Jim White
Scoop Remenih
Dave Gleske
Larry Sevison
Jeff Reiger
Steve Reynaud
Bernie Mellor
Mike Kennett
Steve Matson
Mark Johnson
Brian York
Doug Read
Gerald Rockwell
Ron Driller