Out-of-bounds boarders found safe

Two snowboarders who went out of bounds Saturday were discovered safe by a private helicopter pilot Sunday afternoon.

The pair had been snowboarding at Heavenly Ski Resort and spent the night in the Motts Canyon area.

"They consumed what little food and water they possessed and were using a compass to navigate their way down the mountain," said Sgt. Tom Mezzetta of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. "However, without a map or other landmark to guide their route, they had actually set a course deeper into the wilderness."

The men, aged 24 and 25, did have a Family Radio Service walkie talkie, The radio have a very limited range, Mezzetta said, but a person in Gardnerville heard their calls and notified the sheriff's office.

A dozen Douglas County Search and Rescue members responded and searched Motts Canyon using a Sno-cat and snowshoes.

A resident who had learned of the search flew his helicopter into the area and found the men.

Mezzetta said Heavenly Resort officials asked for the names and ski pass numbers of the pair with the intent to revoke their skiing privileges.

"Venturing outside ski boundaries is a risky practice," he said. "Boundaries are established for the safety and protection of the resort guest. Those in violation face criminal and civil penalties."

Heavenly has a current base depth of 2-4 feet, after an inch of new snow on Sunday.


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