Search and rescue teams scouring the outskirts of Mt. Ashland ski area in Oregon located missing snowboarder Eli Kepsel yesterday, cold and wet but alive. He had been missing since Sunday evening and spent two nights awaiting rescue.
“This is the best outcome we could have hoped for,” Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Shawn Richards told KRDV.
Authorities were able to locate tracks they believe belonged to Kepsel, but tracking him became increasingly difficult as snow became more sparse.
Again, according to KRDV:
“Kepsel’s mother reported him missing to JCSO on Monday, December 10, when he didn’t return from a snowboarding trip the day before. Mt. Ashland Ski Patrol members checked the ski area parking lot and found Kepsel’s vehicle was still parked there. While SAR prepared for the search operation, Ski Patrol started looking.”
The bulk of the search was conducted via the ground due to less than ideal flying conditions. Eventually, SAR teams spotted Kepsel as they searched along US Forest Service Road 2060 north of Mt. Ashland. Rescuers described him as cold and wet, but able to walk and carry on a conversation.
His condition is now described as “fair.”