Technology to the rescue: Cell phones used to report lost outdoors enthusiasts |

Technology to the rescue: Cell phones used to report lost outdoors enthusiasts

Merry Thomas

INCLINE VILLAGE – Cellular phones saved the day Monday for three of four people who became lost outdoors.

Incline Village authorities responded to reports Monday of four lost winter sport enthusiasts near resorts. Although search efforts kept authorities busy Monday afternoon, “It was the easiest (search) incidents we’d responded to in a long time,” said North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Greg McKay, who assisted in the rescue efforts.

The afternoon began when authorities received a report of someone lost in the Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe Resort area.

The person descended off the backside of the east bowl and emerged in the Winter’s Creek drainage, according to resort spokesman Mike Pierce.

“We have open boundaries and they didn’t look at the map very well for the best points to leave the resort,” Pierce said.

The skier used a cell phone to call for help, but hiked out shortly thereafter in good condition, he said.

Meanwhile, a man and his 14-year-old son, who were snowshoeing at the Sheep’s Flat/Tahoe Meadows area, split up so the son could go snowboarding. When the son didn’t meet his father at a designated time, the father called dispatch on his cell phone at 2 p.m. to report his son missing.

McKay and Cmdr. Gregg Lubbe of Incline’s Washoe County Sheriff’s substation responded to the call. As officials prepared for the search, the teenager walked out of the woods.

Later in the day, a skier was reported lost at Diamond Peak. The skier dialed 911 on his cell phone to report becoming lost after hiking into Solitude Canyon from Tyrolian Village.

“After he described the terrain, we could tell where he was,” Lubbe said.

Diamond Peak Lift Manager Ryan Lougeay found the skier at about 4:30 p.m.

A later conversation revealed the skier had made his way into the canyon from Diamond Peak.

Meanwhile, foggy conditions disoriented a Diamond Peak snowboarder who had cut into the trees while riding down the Flume Trail. When he didn’t come out at the bottom, his girlfriend reported him missing.

At 4:15 p.m., Lougeay found the missing snowboarder while searching for the missing skier in the lower portion of Solitude Canyon.

Rescues occurred so quickly, officials did not gather missing people’s names, authorities said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.