NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) — Rescuers braved whiteout conditions and avalanches to bring a lost backcountry skier to safety as the snowstorm hit the Sierra over the weekend.
The rescue happened on Saturday afternoon. According to Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, a report was received about a skier who had gotten lost northeast of Castle Peak.READ MORE: Survivors Of Two Pandemics Credit Pets With Helping Them Survive
Search operations began as the severe winter storm started closing in.
Rescuers were able to make contact with the lost skier through a cellphone and he was tracked to the area near Frog Lake. Snowmobiles were first sent out to try and find him, but dense tree cover and steep chasm caused by open streams put that effort to a stop.
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At this point, a Nordic rescue team was sent out from the Donner Pass rest area to try and find the lost skier. Climbing up over the pass in both whiteout and semi-whiteout conditions, rescuers finally reached the person.
With the storm now hitting, the rescue team spotted two avalanches. A rescue team member also got caught in a third small slab avalanche but was unharmed, Nevada County authorities say.
The rescuers were able to retrace their tracks and made it back safely in the middle of the night.MORE NEWS: Vehicle Crashes Into Heritage Oaks Hospital In Sacramento
Rescuers say the incident is a stark reminder of the dangers of going backcountry skiing right before a winter storm.