Man who spent night in waist-high snow found safe
A Gardnerville dentist, who spent Sunday night in three feet of snow after becoming lost while snowshoeing the Tahoe Rim Trail, told a Lake Tahoe newspaper he paced all night to stay alive.
Wendel (Raymond) Murdock spent the night near the top of Kingsbury Grade while searchers tried to get to him.
Douglas County dispatchers received a call from Murdock 5 p.m. Sunday. Murdock said he had become lost while snowshoeing off Andria Drive.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team was activated and launched a search and rescue mission which continued into early Monday morning near the Tahoe Rim Trail. Due to the level of snow, more than waist deep and the growing possibility of an avalanche, searching was suspended until 6 a.m., Sgt. Ron Elges said on Monday.
With the conditions not getting any better in attempting to locate Murdock, at approximately 6 a.m., Douglas searchers contacted Washoe County which sent its Raven helicopter down to help look for Murdock.
At approximately 9:55 a.m., Monday, Raven located Murdock in waist-deep snow a few miles from the Tahoe Rim Trailhead. Murdock was suffering from mild hypothermia, but overall he was in great spirits and health, Elges said. He was transported to Barton Hospital for medical observation. Murdock is an avid winter sportsman and was prepared to survive not being able to seek proper overnight shelter.
“This rescue mission was successful due to the dedicated members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, and Murdock for being properly prepared for snowy conditions,” Elges said.