PMR Assists in Rescue of Lost Snow Boarder

Around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday Feb 20, 2011, the Clackamas County Sheriff requested PMR to help search for a missing snow boarder on Mt. Hood. PMR deployed 3 searchers by 8:00 p.m. and two more later that night.

Information and cell phone tracking indicated a search area northwest of Big Zig Zag Canyon and south of the Sandy River. Winds were light and the temperature was about 18 degrees. Initially, visibility was about 50 feet, but later cleared. One team of searchers went to the primary search area. Upon reaching the search area, the searchers found no tracks and descended to a cliff band. They ascended and traversed along the Zig Zag headwall and back to Timberline Lodge. Another team meanwhile searched the eastside of Big Zig Zag Canyon and then traversed all the way to Enid Lake. They also found no sign of the missing boarder.

Monday morning brought better conditions. PMR teams along with teams from Volcano Rescue, Deschutes and Central Washington deployed from the top of the Palmer lift to areas west and down to tree line. At about noon the subject was spotted by the National Guard helicopter, which hoisted him out and transported him to Timberline Lodge. The subject was cold but in good spirits.

As PMR was debriefing with the a Clackamas County deputy, the deputy got another call about an out-of-bounds lost snow boarder—a 13 year old male. The deputy requested PMR’s assistance. The subject’s 911 call provided coordinates for an area between the Alpine Trail and Kruser Trail, just above the bottom of the Jeff Flood lift. A PMR team deployed to the area and quickly found tracks. They located the boarder within about 20 minutes of his 911 call. The cell phone coordinates were within about 90 feet of the subject’s location. With some hot drink and a Snickers bar he made it out and down to the lift. PMR escorted him to the first aid room at Timberline Ski Area.