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

TNSAR Search 3/02/2010

Snowshoer from Peter Grubb Hut

Submitted by Dirk Schoonmaker

On Tuesday afternoon, March 2, a single snowshoer left the Peter Grubb Hut to hike out to his car. When his friends left the hut 2 hours later they saw his tracks head right down into the Castle Creek drainage. When they did not see him at the trailhead, or his car was still there, Iím not sure which, they called 911. Nevada County started the search with their own team, some snowshoers and snowmobiles, but could not follow his track. TNSAR was finally called at 9:00 pm after about a foot of snow had fallen in the area.

8 skiers, 3 snowmobilers and 2 snow cat operators rendezvoused at the Boreal parking lot. After an hour and a half of waiting for assignments skiers were transported by snowmobile and snowcat to Castle Pass to start searching their assigned areas which were lettered A-J and had very little connection to the topography involved.

The snowcat helped transport skiers and snowshoers and then ran out the road south of Andesite Ridge all the way to itís end. Snowmobilers were assigned search areas and got into some amazing places. By 6 am all team members were back at the Command Post to debrief, having found nothing.

At 7 am Wednesday, 6 fresh skiers arrived and were assigned search areas going south from the Grubb Hut, along Castle Peak to the Donner Summit Fire Station on Highway 80. They also found nothing and were out of the field by 5 pm. Snowmobilers continued searching and the snowcat continued ferrying searchers.

Wednesday night, the search continued, though Iím not sure who from our team was involved.

The MP was found by helicopter on Thursday morning at about 10:00, .40 miles northwest of the Grubb Hut. His condition is unknown at this time, as is his route while he was lost.

From Scott Meyer.

I returned at 1400 (Wednesday) and was able to convince IC that we needed to search north of the P.G. hut. IC concurred. Myself, Brendon, Compton, and Joe D. (Nevada Co. SAR) Got our paperwork and headed out. We had no search box to go to, only "search as far north, north east as you can from the hut". Over the hood snow made travel a bit exhausting but we made it to the north shoulder of Basin Peak. I had two great vantage points along the cliff line just north of the hut looking down to Sand Pond and Paradise valley. Tried yelling for a while and then moved on up to basin peak with similar vantage point looking down to white Rock. H24 finally flew but for only 25 mins. He flew low all along the search boxes and northward to white Rock and around the east side of Basin/Castle peaks.

After we made it back to the Boreal show I saw Kyle Railton, Myles Lewis, and Scott Baumgardner ready to head out for a mission, as well as Steve Twomey back for another round.

From Jeff Quine,

On Wednesday night at 7PM, Steve Twomey, Doug Carbonari, Russ Viehmann, myself, Scott Baumgardner, Kyle Railton and Miles Lewis met at the Boreal IC. Russ had been out on the search on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and was spent, so rode with Bob Wright in the cat on Weds. PM/Thurs. AM. Steve, Doug and myself were joined by Rick from western Placer SAR and made up Nordic 2. At 9PM were were assigned search area M.

We were told that the eastern edge of M had been searched but the rest of the area had not been thoroughly searched. Scott, Kyle and Miles got their assignment after we left and I believe began their search from Cisco Grove somewhere. Nordic 2 was transported by Bob and Russ to Castle Pass and had skis on snow at 10PM. Conditions were clear, calm and cold. As we made our way to the southern corner of M, we called out Kevin's name and blew whistles repeatedly. Special attention was paid to an area where a team earlier in the day had heard, "I'm here". When we reached the southern corner of M we split up into two teams of two. Steve and Doug began a clockwise perimeter search while Rick and I began a counter-clockwise perimeter search. We met at the northern end of M and began a systematic switchback search of Lower Castle Creek, remaining in two person teams. There were several sets of older ski tracks taking a fall line descent through this search area leading us to believe that this it had been searched more thoroughly than IC has initially believed. Steve believed these tracks to be TNSARs from the night before. We continued down the Lower Castle Creek drainage until the four of us met up at the point where we began our perimeter searches of M. Not having found or heard anything, we skinned back to Castle Pass. We were picked up by a Washoe County cat and returned to base at 3AM. The Nevada County incident commander seemed pleased by our performance, remarked on the speed with which we had cleared our search area and asked about our future availability.

Jackie Thomas
Amy Horne
Toni Rockwell
Marty Schoonmaker
Laura Read
Kelli Twomey
Terri Viehmann
Kathy King
Doug Read
Doug Carbonari
Troy Corliss
Paul Cushing
Jeff Devries
Jim Granger
Mark Johnson
Mike LeFrancois
Bernie Mellor
Randall Osterhuber
Joe Pace
Geoff Quine
Gerald Rockwell
Dirk Schoonmaker
Jimmy Smith
Steve Twomey
Russ Viehmann
Dave Gleske
Sara Carbonari
Ray O'Brien
Bob Wright
Chris McConnell
Scott Meyer
Brian York
Thomas Smith
Steve Hoyt
Brendon Compton
T.J. Johnson
Kyle Railton
Myles Lewis
Scott Baumgardner

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