TNSAR Search 15/02/2007

Lost Skier on backside of Alpine

Ron from Chicago was enjoying his last day skiing Tahoe when he was given some conflicting guidance as to how to return to the base of Alpine. A few turns later and Ron was headed through fresh powder down the back side of Ward, to the 5 Lakes drainage. After hiking a bit and passing a sign indicating the Wiskey Creek camp, the authorities were called.

The page for TNSAR went out at about 4:45 pm. 4 members arrived and were departing the base of Alpine via snowcat by 6:30 pm. The Alpine Ski Patrol, having been in contact with Ron via cell, already had his position and had spotted his tracks off of Ward, making it a simple start for TNSAR.

Nordic 1 reached Rob by 7:30pm; he was in fine shape, just a bit tired. GPS position was UTM 10S 0735701 4336306.

While Ron was lost, he had made a few good decisions up to this point:

- after hiking down the 5 Lakes drainage, Ron turned around, following his tracks back until it was too dark to see.

- Then Ron stopped.

- Ron opted against a dip into the 5 Lakes Creek.

- Ron wasn't adorned in cotton.

- Ron had a good amount of clothing, water, and snacks.

- Ron had a cell phone w/ sufficient battery life.

Nordic 1 outfitted Ron in some snowshoes and set off up the hill for the 1.38 miles and 1970 ft climb to Ward. By 8:30 Nordic 1 and 2 converged and continued the hike out back to Ward Peak. The peak was summited heartily by 10:30 pm, with an exhausted Chicago Bear. Pizza was on the house.

The route of the 2 Nordic teams can be viewed here, the profile for the route out here.

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