Search and Rescue advises to be ready for winter weather changes

As winter weather rapidly approaches, outdoor enthusiasts need to be cautious and prepared for eminent weather when going into the backcountry, local officials advise.

An 83-year-old Carson City man died Tuesday after getting caught in snow overnight on Brunswick Canyon. Carson City, Douglas and Washoe Search and Rescue found the man at about 6,200 feet, under a tree at about 11:30 a.m. where he was suffering from frostbite and severe hypothermia. The man was transported to Renown Regional Medical Center where he later died from his injuries.

The man had been reported missing around 5 p.m. Monday by his wife and a neighbor after the man didn’t return from his daily walk, however they didn’t know where the man was heading, so it took Search and Rescue teams until the next morning to find him. When the man was found, he was in casual clothes, shoes and a light jacket with no food, and there was at least three inches of snow on the ground in the area.

Search and Rescue Coordinator Bill Fergus said the rapidly changing weather is a difficult characteristic of Nevada.

“It is important to be prepared for their own safety but also because the access to outdoor areas in this area, makes it tempting to leave the house in flip flops and shorts, but the weather can quickly turn,” Fergus said. “We have a lot of opportunity to get into the mountains here quickly and to get into harm quickly.”

Fergus said one area they commonly have trouble in is the edge of Kings Canyon Road, where the Lincoln Highway runs through the Spooner Summit. Because much of the trail has deteriorated, vehicles cannot pass through and it makes it dangerous for people to be on. Fergus said they have pulled at least two people out of that area in the last year.

The best way for people to be prepared going into the backcountry is to tell someone where they are going. “A lot of times searches are extended because the family doesn’t know where the person was headed,” Fergus said.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment