Douglas County Search and Rescue Team Rescues Six Skiers

Stateline, NV…On Sunday, March 20th, 2011, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team (DCSAR) rescued six skiers off the mountain just outside the Heavenly Ski Resort area, in Stateline, NV.

At approximately 1:00 pm, DCSAR was called out for a lost 16 year-old snowboarder in the Palisades area, off Lower Kingsbury Grade, in Stateline NV. The subject had called 911 via cell phone after unintentionally snowboarding out of bounds at Heavenly Ski Resort when his visibility was reduced due to heavy snowfall. The subject had become lost, and did not know how to extricate himself from the area.

DCSAR responded with 18 members consisting of several snowshoe and snowmobile teams, and a tracked Sno-Cat to search the area where the subject was believed to be lost. After approximately an hour of searching, DCSAR located the lost 16 year-old, as well as four other lost and disoriented skiers/snowboarders. All five subjects were transported to safety.

Later that same day, at approximately 5:00 pm, DCSAR was called out to search for a 19 year-old skier trapped on the mountainside near the Heavenly Ski Resort Gondola. The skier had intentionally skied out of bounds, and had mistakenly run into a tree well, causing his skies and legs to become entangled in branches, trapping him to the point that he was unable to free himself. The skier called 911 via cell phone to request emergency assistance.

This was a high-priority call for DCSAR due to continued heavy snowfall, a rapidly approaching nightfall, and the potential of having a fallen skier lying wet and injured in the snow throughout the night.

DCSAR quickly remobilized their rescue team and began a new search for the trapped subject. Due to the steep terrain and heavy snowpack in the area where the subject was believed to be trapped, DCSAR was able to access the area only by snowshoe. The teams located the subject, and began extrication and providing emergency medical aid. Due to potential injuries sustained by the subject, DCSAR transported him off the hill in a rescue toboggan. The subject was later transported to Barton Hospital for additional medical treatment.