TNSAR Search 07/02/2004

Overdue Snowmobiler at Little Truckee Summit

The subjects left for a day ride from the Little Truckee Summit (LTS) parking lot on 2/7/04 in the morning. At 11:30pm a friend called 911 from Incline Village to report them being over due. The 911 operator informed him that it was not their area and they would transfer him to the Truckee Police. Once transferred he was advised that Truckee Police was not the agency responsible and that they would need to transfer him to Nevada County Sheriff. Once again he was told that he would need to be transferred to Sierra County Sheriff. Finally he was able to report his friends missing and he was advised that a deputy would respond to the area and check for a vehicle.

The vehicle was located in the parking lot and the deputy awoke several people staying in RV's in the parking area to see if they had seen the missing subjects. No Luck. The deputy then requested Nevada County Search and rescue and also OES to request mutual aid from Placer County and the TNSAR team. I received a call from Fred Carey at 3AM who stated that we were being called out for a mutual aid search with Sierra County and they would like us to meet at LTS at 7:00am. Fred advised them that we would respond immediately and start searching ASAP.

We arrived at 4:30am to offload our machines with the temperature being a balmy 2 degrees fahrenheit. Per the deputy and the RP on scene it was likely that the subjects were in the Parrazzo Meadow area. Four snowmobiles and the TNSAR Team snowcat headed in, checked the meadow area, and found no signs of the subjects. Lots of tracks all over the meadow. We proceeded to Copins Lodge and Weber Lake Lodge and awoke the occupants to see if any uninvited guest had arrived during the night. Again no one had seen the subjects. We then checked all the cabins around Weber Lake.

Next we headed toward Jackson Meadows Reservoir with the snowcat searching side roads. We crossed the dam and approximately 3 miles past the dam we stopped to clean the ice from our face shields when we saw a cabin to our right. We went to check the cabin and found fresh post holes leading to the side of the cabin. The subject stuck his head out and advised us that he was the lost subject. They had gotten their snowmobile stuck approximately 3.5 miles west of the cabin towards Bowman Lake. They had decided to start walking back toward the cabin they had passed earlier in the day. They made it to the cabin sometime after dark and used miscellaneous items in the cabin to try and stay warm. They were cold and hungry but otherwise in good condition.

After giving them water and food we loaded them up and headed west to retrieve their snowmobile. It was stuck in a creek area. Once the sled was freed from the powder we hit the trail and returned to the parking lot. The subjects were interviewed by the Sierra County Sheriff and the USFS. Fred advised he was buying breakfast at the Truckee Diner. The subjects and their friends joined us and said they were very grateful for our assistance.

Sheriff Dispatch Comm Van Truck Skiers Snow Cats Snowmobiles
Fred Carey Russ Viehman John Chilcote
Scoop Remenih
Dave Gleski
Bryan Devore
Shawn Kelly
Rod Mayne
Ray O'Brien