Around 7:30 p.m. on February 11, 2012, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office requested PMR to assist in searching for a lost snow boarder on Mt. Hood. The snow boarder was an adult male (a non-English speaking Korean) who had been riding with friends at Timberline. They were riding out of bounds west of the resort when they became separated.
His friends reported last seeing him just above the Glade Trail and to the west of the Kruser run. PMR fielded a two-person hasty team around 9:30 p.m. to search down into Sand Canyon from above. The Timberline Resort Ski Patrol reported sighting tracks near the cable sign hanging over Sand Canyon near the base elevation of the resort; the PMR hasty team was assigned to find and follow those tracks. Around 10:30 p.m., another PMR team started searching from below on the Glade Trail from Government Camp upwards toward Sand Canyon.
Eventually, the first team located tracks and followed them down Sand Canyon. When the forest became dense, they had to carry their skis and follow the boarder’s foot tracks, which they did down to about 4300’. Eventually, the two PMR teams converged. About the same time, the subject was found by other rescuers near Enid Lake.
According to news reports, the subject called for help on his cell phone. With the aid of an interpreter, the sheriff’s office asked him to stay put. After his cell phone battery died, he continued to move and gained high ground from which he could see lights from the ski areas. He then turned south away from Sand Canyon and was on course toward Government Camp when he met rescuers. PMR teams were out of the field by 2:30 a.m. on February 12, 2012.
PMR advises skiers and riders to stay in bounds unless they are prepared with skills and equipment to navigate in the back country in winter conditions and equipped to stay out all night. If you know rescuers are looking for you, stay put and take actions to increase your visibility.