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February 3, 2011
Two Skiers from Oxford Rescued from Back Side of Sugarloaf Mountain
Augusta, Maine - Two skiers from Oxford were rescued from the back side of Sugarloaf Mountain today after they admittedly followed the tracks of another skier to an out-of-bounds area on the mountain on Wednesday.
Bradley Snow, 16, of Oxford and Sven Bergeron, 20, of Oxford told Maine Warden Service game wardens this morning that they had taken multiple runs earlier in the day, and sometime between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. they decided to follow tracks made by another skier that led underneath an orange distinctive rope that marks trail boundaries.
“They admittedly followed another skier’s tracks in the snow, and they did go under the rope that signifies out of bounds,” according to MWS Sgt. Scott Thrasher. “In that area of the mountain, if you go out of bounds it’s almost impossible to get back on Sugarloaf’s trails.”
Late last night, Mr. Snow’s mother, Beverly Snow of Oxford, reported to local police that the pair had not returned home. The Maine Warden Service was notified at 11:30 p.m., and began to search Sugarloaf with snowmobiles. Also searching the mountain were Sugarloaf personnel and the Sugarloaf Ski Patrol.
The pair did not have a cell phone with them. Their car was located in the Sugarloaf parking lot, indicating they still were at the ski resort
“They did not have cell phones with them, so we had no idea where they were,” Sgt. Thrasher said. “We decided to concentrate our efforts on the back side of the mountain because that’s where skiers have gotten lost in the past. The plane was instrumental in finding them.”
More than a foot of snow fell in the area on Wednesday, and was falling until 1:30 a.m., and snow depths reached 5 feet. Maine Warden Service Pilot Dan Dufault was on the scene at 7:30 a.m., and he located the skiers at 7:39 a.m. on the south side of the mountain.
MWS Game Wardens Scott Stevens and Kris McCabe were able to get within a quarter-mile of the skiers by snowmobiles, and snowshoed the rest of the way, reaching them at 8:35 a.m.
Mr. Snow and Mr. Bergeron were transported to West Kingfield Road, reaching that location at 9:35 a.m., and were evaluated by Northstar EMS medical personnel. They were fine and left the scene with their parents.
The skiers made a shelter with snow and fir boughs to stay warm.
MWS Sgt. Terry Hughes and Carrabassett Fire Chief Courtney Knapp also assisted in the search.
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