Snowboarders cited after rescue |

Snowboarders cited after rescue

William Ferchland

On Monday night, at the area of Stagecoach near Heavenly Mountain Resort, 22 people looked for three lost snowboarders who used cell phones to call for help, according to a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy.

Two snowboarders, Christopher Snyder from Santa Barbara and Jeff Howell from Hollywood, were reported lost at 5:20 p.m., said Sgt. Tom Mezzetta.

Search and rescue personnel on snow shoes and snowmobiles entered the area of Stagecoach in search of the two Southern California men. They knew the general area to look because of the cell phone tower that bounced the call to authorities.

Other rescuers waited in an area near Hussman Meadow, on the Carson Valley side of Kingsbury grade at mile-marker nine, Mezzetta said.

Lost skiers and snowboarders tend to “pop out” at the location, Mezzetta said.

As the 22 search-and-rescue personnel canvassed the land, Mezzetta said another cell phone call from a lost snowboarder reached authorities at 6:45 p.m. The group was notified of the additional wayward snowboarder, 28-year-old Jordan Schneid of Sacramento, who said he was in a ravine with a creek, Mezzetta said. Some of the rescuers were then diverted to the area of Daggett Drainage.

One of the lost men had a whistle, which, when used, confused the other lost party in thinking rescuers were nearby, Mezzetta said.

“What’s funny, and I don’t know all the details of this, apparently the two lost guys and the one lost guy were in contact with each other. … We had the blind leading the blind out there,” Mezzetta said.

Rescuers made voice contact with Schneid at Hussman Meadow at 7:31 p.m. and physical contact about 15 minutes later. But Snyder and Howell were still missing.

Rescuers at Hussman Meadow heard from the two a few minutes past 8 p.m., nearly three hours after they were first reported missing.

All three were in good shape, albeit thirsty and cold, Mezzetta said. They were warmed, given blankets and cited for being out of bounds.

All of the rescuers didn’t get out of the wilderness until around 11 p.m.

In other news:

— More than $2,000 was stolen in ski and snowboard equipment from two parked sport utility vehicles at the Ridge Tahoe Resort on Thursday, a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy reported.

Three pairs of Salomon skis – one an “X-Scream” edition and two at 174 centimeters – and an Arrow snowboard worth a total of $2,150 were reported stolen from vehicle racks that had their locks broken, the deputy reported.

Owners of the vehicles discovered the missing snow equipment Thursday around 9:20 a.m. One pair of skis and the snowboard were missing from a 1999 Toyota 4-Runner with a Yakima rack, while a 2001 Toyota Highlander had two pairs of skis stolen from a Thule cargo box, the deputy reported.

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