February 11, 2024 - Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team officials report that on Friday, February 10, 2024, at 5:30 p.m., the Team was called out for a missing 19-year-old male somewhere in the vicinity of Red’s Meadow Road and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA). The team deployed from Main Lodge on a series of sleds down to the subject’s potential location. Upon arrival to the location, the team was unable to make auditory or visual contact. It began to storm with heavier snow and bouts of wind likely obscuring potential contact. Further searching, along with patrollers from MMSA, eventually led to auditory contact being established. It was determined the subject was stuck/cliffed out on a series of steep rock and ice ledge systems several hundred feet up from the road. He was advised to stay put.
After consulting the map, Rescuers from the Team sent a team of 4 up a drainage that appeared to lead into the series of ledges. Ski Patrol also sent several pairs of skiers down from upper Reds Meadow Rd to work to establish contact. Eventually, the team of 4 was able to establish auditory and visual contact with the subject from above, followed shortly by Ski Patrol from an alternate side of the ledges.
The subject was able to be coached up a long ramp that led to a steep face where the Team was able to establish a belay, lower a harness to the subject, and safely maneuver him onto the next ledge. The subject was treated for dehydration, given snowshoes/poles by Ski Patrol and all parties worked to safely evacuate from the series of ledges.
The subject was loaded into the Team’s rescueboggan to begin warming during the snowmobile ride out.
The Team is grateful for a good outcome and is thankful to Ski Patrol for their partnership!
View video here.
A brief reminder that skiing off the backside (beyond the boundaries) can become life threatening, whether intentional or not. This area is unmitigated, unpatrolled, generally lacks cell service and is considered extremely hazardous for the unprepared.
Source & photos: Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team