TAHOE CITY, Calif. -- The Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team trekked 16 miles into Lake Tahoe backcountry to bring a lost snowboarder to safety last week.
According to the Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue Team, a snowboarder had crossed ski resort boundaries late in the afternoon on January 31. Officials said an elite team of skiers and snowmobilers from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office dispatched TNSAR, and went out at around 8 p.m. in search of the missing snowboarder.
For five hours across eight miles, they followed the snowboarder’s trail, tracing the steps of his search for signs of civilization.
According to the TNSAR, crews finally reached the missing person at 1 a.m. on Feb. 1, reporting the snowboarder was frightened, hungry and cold. They found him huddled next to Five Lakes Creek, just two miles from Hell Hole.
“He was cold and wet, but otherwise fine,” Calvin Mitchell from the Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue Team said. “After getting a new set of clothes from our packs and devouring a lot of the team's extra food and water, he was ready for the hike to safety.” That climb up and out of the mountains followed their downhill course through snow that was so deep no snowmobile or snow cat could reach them, Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue Team said. They hiked eight miles up 2,800 feet in elevation. At 9:30 a.m., Feb. 1 TNSAR rescuers and their survivor were picked up on a ridge above the ski resort by snowmobilers and a helicopter from the U.S. Naval Air Station Lemoore, Mitchell said.
The nonprofit Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team has 100 skiers, snowmobilers, and other volunteers who rescue lost alpine and cross-country skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, and snow bikers.