ASHLAND, Ore. - A lost snowboarder was found on the South side of Mt. Ashland on March 17, 2018 at 9:00 p.m.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) teams, with assistance from Mt. Ashland ski patrol, rescued a lost snowboarder Saturday night.
On March 17, 2018, at approximately 6:00 p.m., SAR managers were notified of a missing snowboarder on the south side of the mountain, beyond the ski resort boundary.
Eric Hostetler, 40, of Bend, did not return as expected after snowboarding from the Mt. Ashland ski area parking lot. His wife contacted ski patrol members at the lodge, who contacted SAR.
SAR deployed teams to the ski resort and to the area below. Ski patrol members followed Hostetler's tracks in the snow more than two miles south through the Cottonwood Creek drainage. They located him at about 9:00 p.m. A SAR Sno-Cat team intercepted the search party and Hostetler on Forest Service road 40S06 and returned them all to safety.
Hostelter is an experienced snowboarder who was dressed for the conditions. Nobody was injured in the incident.
SAR officials urge skiers and snowboarders to refrain from going outside the boundaries of the ski area. Out-of-bounds activity is additionally dangerous at the end of the day when darkness and cold can affect both survival and search efforts.