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Elite Search and Rescue Team Finds Lost Snowboarder Deep in the Tahoe Backcountry

Photo: Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue

On January 31, an elite Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue team headed deep into the snow-packed Tahoe wilderness to locate and rescue a lost snowboarder. It was an example of how important these search and rescue teams can be to the outdoor community.

The snowboarder had ventured out of ski resort boundaries at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and became lost, eventually settling near Five Lakes Creek near Hell Hole Reservoir for the night. The rescue team started following the snowboarders tracks around 10 pm that night and cross country skied 8 miles before finding the snowboarder. At 1 am, they found him cold and wet, but otherwise he was in good spirits after seeing the brave rescue team.

Once the snowboarder was given food and dressed in new, dry clothes, they hiked 8 miles back up the hill. The snow was so deep that snowmobiles were unable to access the desolate area. After the team hiked up 2,800 feet elevation to the top of the peak, the snowboarder was recovered by a helicopter from the U.S. Naval Air Station Lemoore at 9:30 am. The overall rescue mission was a 16-mile trek that took over 13 hours.

The Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue is a non-profit organization with around 100 members that volunteer their services to rescue alpine and cross-country skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, and snow bikers. The team’s primary fundraising event is coming up March 3 – The Great Ski Race, an epic and beautiful 30K cross-country ski race through the woods and mountains from Tahoe XC in Tahoe City to Cottonwood Restaurant in Truckee. Sign up now at thegreatskirace.com.

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