A group from the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team made an astounding rescue on Friday night after a skier had been reported missing near Grouse Canyon. The team went up to the snowy slopes in the dark of night and were able to perform the rescue before the storm reached the region.
Here’s the story as told by the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team:
We got the call out at 9:30 pm on Friday. A lost skier had been reported by friends. He did not have his cell phone or backpack. We had no idea where he could be.
We met at Alpine Meadows for a lift to the top of the mountain, thinking we could find ski tracks. When everyone stepped out of the snowcat, the pre-storm winds were whipping across the ridge! Visibility was low and it was difficult to spot anything. We split up into two teams, one heading towards Grouse and one heading towards Wolverine Ridge, with the second team reporting tracks pretty quickly. About 30 minutes into the search, the first team heard a response to our yells…but VERY far away.
The teams started working their way down and traversing skiers left towards Grouse Canyon. Eventually, we hit the skiers tracks and amazingly, he was hiking UPHILL! Finally, a lost skier who is trying to go the right way! After making contact with the missing person, we spent a few more hours with him snowshoeing back up to the ridge near Grouse Rock. We then had a lovely ski down, where all of us left the woods smiling and happy to be safe before the big storm.
Special thanks to all of the patrollers at Alpine Meadows for assisting in the set-up. Thank you to Placer County Sherriffs Office for the LARGE crew who stayed up all night with us!
And thank goodness we were able to find the lost skier before a huge storm rolled into the mountains, possibly making this search a lot harder if it extended into the day today.
Be safe everyone!