Missing Lake Tahoe skiers rescued; Spent two long, cold nights in backcountry | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Missing Lake Tahoe skiers rescued; Spent two long, cold nights in backcountry

Two San Francisco skiers have been rescued from the terrain west of Alpine Meadows ski resort after surviving two nights of frigid temperatures and snowy conditions.

A Placer County Sheriff helicopter spotted the two men ” Patrick Frost, 35, and Christopher Gerwig, 32 ” at 10:30 a.m. Monday as they were heading toward Hell Hole Reservoir, which is several miles west of Alpine Meadows, said Placer County Sheriff Sgt. Allan Carter.

The helicopter landed at the reservoir and rescued the skiers, he said. It then flew the men to the Auburn airport, where they were driven to Sutter Auburn Faith hospital, said Carter.

“It’s great to find these guys alive,” said Carter.

Both skiers were in good condition, he said.

The two helicopters and nearly 25 skiers involved in the search were heading off the mountain Monday, Carter said.

“I can’t tell you how happy we are,” said Alpine Meadows Spokeswoman Rachael Woods. “This is about as great as it can get.”

The search, which had been hampered by avalanche danger, winds and snow, finally kicked into high gear Monday morning, under blue skies.

“Hopefully [we’ll get] three helicopters so we can just scour the area,” said Placer County Sheriff’s Sgt. Allan Carter, earlier Monday morning.

The ground search, which included Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue skiers and Alpine Meadows Ski Patrol ” had been searching an enormous area including the backside and both edges of the resort.

“The snow erased all the tracks,” said Carter, leaving the search without any starting point.

Carter said both skiers were experienced and trained in backcountry survival.

“They are pretty expert skiers with a degree of backcountry survival knowledge,” said Carter. “With two people you have some shared body heat, so that’s a good thing.”

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