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March 1, 2010
Four Snowboarders Rescued From Sugarloaf Mountain
Augusta, Maine - Four snowboarders are being rescued from Sugarloaf Mountain after getting lost in steep terrain off a marked trail at approximately 5:35 p.m. on Sunday.
It is unknown whether the four snowboarders intentionally went off the marked trail or if they became lost.
The search was focused at the 3,500-foot elevation mark on what’s called the “backside” of Sugarloaf Mountain, a heavily forested area with extremely steep terrain and ravines. The temperature was 22 degrees, with 30-40 mile-per-hour winds on Sunday night. At least 50 inches of new snow has fallen over the weekend.
The snowboarders used cell phones and text messages to contact family, friends and public safety dispatch crews throughout the night.
One snowboarder, Luke Poisson, 18, of Lewiston, Maine, who separated from the three others, was located at approximately 9:30 a.m. today by Maine Warden Service Game Wardens Tom McKenney and Pat Egan. The wardens used a compass in the direction of Mr. Poisson’s voice to pinpoint his location, which was approximately 1 mile (as the crow flies) from the marked trail. He was hiked down the mountain to West Kingfield Road, where he was evaluated by an ambulance crew. He did not require hospitalization.
The three snowboarders were located at approximately 10:20 a.m. by teams from the Sugarloaf Ski Patrol. The men were given food and water. At approximately 11:30 a.m., rescue crews still were evaluating what was the best route to get them off the mountain.
The three snowboarders are: Cory Koop, 18, from North Pole, Alaska, who is believed to be a student at the University of Maine-Farmington; Machali Belluscio, 19, from Keene, N.H., who attends UMaine-Farmington; and Aaron Nadeau, 15, from New Portland, Maine. Their conditions are unknown at this time.
Eight Game Wardens, six members of the Sugarloaf Ski Patrol, and members of the Carrabasset Valley Fire Department participated in the search.
On Friday night, a group of snowboarders went missing off the marked trail in the same area and were located within a couple of hours.
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