Overdue Snowshoers, Santiam Pass
or "Faron and friend, lost or not?"

by Bob Freund

Mission Report 00-01
Member Hours: 91

Call it a Y2K test if you like, but we were paged at 1944 Sunday, January 2nd. Linn County determined a car found buried by over two feet of snow at the Santiam Snow Park belonged to someone who had not returned as planned on Sunday. (As it turned out, they were really due out on Monday -- but that message went awry.)

CMRU staged at Hoodoo Ski Area at 0730 on Monday. We had one team of five assigned to search the PCT from near highway 20 to the South Ridge of Three-Fingered Jack. In addition, two personnel assisted at Command, and two more in the field. Almost three feet of snow had fallen since the party of two left the Santiam Snow Park on Friday and it was pretty tough going for all the field teams. Deschutes County had a team covering the Square Lake basin and Jefferson County had a team going toward the Berley Lakes along the old Skyline trail. They also had a team with a snowcat covering buildings and areas near the highway.

Besides deep snow, the major problem for this mission was the party had not left a trip plan with anyone to indicate where they were going or what they were doing. A search of their unlocked car proved fruitless. In an attempt to determine what equipment they might have with them, Jon Sears visited with a roommate in Corvallis to see what equipment was left behind to help guess what the party of two was doing.

At 1044, a Jefferson County team met the pair moving South along the old Skyline trail. They were in great shape and were no doubt surprised to find out they were the subjects of an active search. All field personnel were recalled and returned to the ski area by noon. CMRU member Faron Anslow and his friend were right on (their) schedule, not in need of rescue, but nonetheless were glad to see a mile of packed trail back to the car.
They had spent Friday night near Lower Berley Lake, and ascended Maxwell Butte before spending Saturday night at Santiam Lake. Then it dumped 16 inches of light snow -- and they were five miles from their car. They traveled all day Sunday and put in a camp at the junction with the connector trail to the PCT (Northwest of the Rockpile). And on Monday were headed out the last mile and a half.
Thanks to Joy who worked her magic as Intown Coordinator.

Participants: J. Bartosz, L. Clunes, J. Dagata, T. Fitzpatrick, B. Freund, D. Lacer, S. Leach, W. Lederer, S. Linn, J. Linn, J. Sears.

Photos by Scott Linn

For additional photos, click here