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March 1, 2010
Four Snowboarders Rescued From Sugarloaf Mountain
Augusta, Maine - Four snowboarders were rescued from Sugarloaf Mountain after getting lost in steep terrain off a marked trail at approximately 5:35 p.m. on Sunday.
The snowboarders told the Maine Warden Service that they were following snowboard tracks and did not see the out-of-bounds signs.
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. The Maine Warden Service began its search after 6 p.m. Sunday, and suspended it at 1:30 a.m. Monday for approximately four hours before resuming.
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. The teens were off the mountain by 1:45 p.m., and were evaluated by ambulance crews. None were injured.
The three snowmobilers 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.
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 also became lost on the backside of the mountain and were located a couple of hours later.
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