Berthoud Pass Rider MIA
UPDATE: I would like to apologize to everyone who was following this story for the delay on this update. If you haven't heard by now, the news isn't good. Searchers found a body that they believe to be the missing snowboarder .Jeff Miller, on Wednesday the 19th. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time. R.I.P.
22:10 Jan. 18, 2011 Unfortunately it's not the best of news, however it's not the worst of news yet either. Rescuers were unable to find the missing snowboarder now known to be 26 year-old Jeffrey Miller of Winter Park/Fraser area. It's also now known that there is a third party involved and also still missing, his dog. Rescuers again have called off the search for the evening due to hazardous weather conditions. The search will continue promptly in the morning. Time is now of the essence, and I sincerely hope to share better news with all of you in the morning.
An avalanche yesterday separates backcountry riders on Berthoud Pass, leaving one missing. A 15 member search party from Grand County SAR responded to an emergency call received Monday around 3:30 PM. The team was unsuccessful at finding the missing snowboarder yesterday and called off the search around 10:00 PM last night, due to hazardous weather conditions. A SAR mobile command unit was stationed overnight near the trailhead of the pass. Efforts were continued early this morning, but I haven't heard any updates on it yet. The search is being conducted just below the area known as "The Fingers" near the top of Berthoud, on the Grand County side of the pass. The rider's name has not yet been released.
We are unsure of the specific events that have unfolded over the last 24 hours. However, we do know that an avalanche occurred separating the two riders, nearly 26" of fresh powder has fallen in the area over night, and the unnamed local rider is still missing. We understand the probability of survival if caught directly in the path of an avalanche is slim, but we are remaining optimistic. For that matter we don't know yet if he was caught in the avy at all. Hopefully this turns out to be another amazing story of the human will and survival.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, don't give up!!! We're pulling for you.
For detailed maps of the area please check out Friends of Berthoud Pass.