As searchers slogged through the cold and snow searching for him, a snowboarder reported missing by his brother was spending the night at a Stateline hotel.
Douglas County rescuers began searching for Gardnerville resident Corey Hoffman, 24, at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday after he became separated from his brother while snowboarding at Heavenly Ski Resort.
Undersheriff Paul Howell said searchers received a phone call from Hoffman's father 9 a.m. Thursday saying that he'd heard from the missing man.
Deputies interviewed Hoffman at the Stagecoach Lodge on Thursday morning and discovered that he didn't know his brother believed him to be missing.
"Corey reports he and his brother became separated at a bar in the Gondola village," Howell said. "The brother believes they became separated on the mountain, but the details are conflicting, due to the consumption of alcohol."
Howell estimated the search cost $40,000, and involved 75 searchers from several jurisdictions and volunteer organizations and two helicopters.
"More importantly, it needlessly risked the safety of search and rescue personnel who conducted this search in bad weather and hazardous terrain," he said.
He reminded those participating in outdoor winter activities to have a plan and stick to it.
"Stay with companions, communicate with your companions, maintain possession of your cell phone, and refrain, or strictly limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages," Howell said.