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Search For Missing Skier At Sugar Bowl Resort

Sugar Bowl Resort / Courtesy

A webcam view Sunday morning, January 17, 2016, at the Sugar Bowl Resort, as a search resumed for a ski instructor missing since Thursday.

Sugar Bowl Resort / Courtesy

UPDATED Jan. 17, 9:50 p.m.: The search for a missing Sugar Bowl Resort ski instructor will resume Monday, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.  Avalanche danger was high again Sunday, as teams probed deep snow in their search.

"Despite great efforts by 60 searchers at Sugar Bowl Resort today [Sunday] we were unable to locate Carson May, 23, the missing ski instructor who was last seen skiing on Thursday afternoon," the Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook page. "But we’ll be back out there tomorrow [Monday] morning with more dedicated search teams."

The search-and-rescue teams, from California and Nevada, include the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue, Bay Area Mountain Rescue, Marin Mountain Rescue, U.S. Forest Service, Sugar Bowl Ski Patrol and the National Ski Patrol. The teams included dogs, probe teams and avalanche specialists.

"Tomorrow, [Monday] we begin our efforts at 8 a.m. with plans for 50 searchers from the same teams," the Sheriff’s Department said in its Facebook post. "We’ll also have two snowcats and six snowmobiles. If weather permits, we'll have two helicopters at the ready."

Poor weather conditions, including heavy rain, and a mix of rain and snow, prevented the use of helicopters Saturday and Sunday.

The weather forecast from the National Weather Service in Sacramento, predicted light to moderate rain moving across Northern California through the night and early morning, with snow at higher elevations. The forecast for Truckee and South Lake Tahoe included the possibility of 3-to-6-inches of snow through Monday afternoon. 

"Thank you to everyone assisting in this monumental effort to find Carson," the Placer County Sheriff's Department added.


UPDATED Jan. 17, 11 a.m.: Searchers have begun another day of looking for a missing ski instructor at the Sugar Bowl Resort near Donner Summit. Carson May, 23, was reported missing at the area Thursday afternoon, Jan. 14.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Department says "ground searchers have been deployed and air assets are on standby if weather cooperates."

The weather forecast calls for a mix of snow and rain, with mostly rain in the afternoon and early evening. Avalanche danger remains high.

The department says the search for May on Sunday will include additional searchers:

  • 31 searchers in the field on 7 teams
  • 1 - 10 man probe team
  • 2 dog teams

The department says search-and-rescue teams from the Nevada County Sheriff's Department and Douglas County Sheriff's Department will also join the search Sunday.

In addition, two U.S. Forest Service avalanche teams are updating searchers on conditions, according to the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

011716Placer_n.jpg

Part of the effort to search for missing Sugar Bowl Resort ski instructor Carson May includes a U.S. Forest Service avalanche team.    Placer County Sheriff's Department / Courtesy

The department says the search-and-rescue team plans to focus on an avalanche slide area.

Searchers plan to check an out-of-bounds ski area after authorities got pings Friday off the last known location of May's cellphone.

More than 43 people, in heavy rain and with high avalanche conditions, searched a limited area at the resort Saturday. Due to the weather, a helicopter was not able to assist in the search. 

011716 Carson May.jpg

A search continued Sunday for Carson May, 23, a ski instructor at Sugar Bowl Resort near Donner Summit, last seen skiing Thursday afternoon, January 14.   Placer County Sheriff's Department / Courtesy

May was last seen skiing while off duty on Thursday afternoon, according to the sheriff’s department. He was supposed to get a ride home but didn't show up.

Friends reported him missing Friday morning after he didn't make it home and his belonging were discovered in his locker at the ski resort.

Search teams are from the Placer County Sheriff's Office (Auburn and Lake Tahoe stations), Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue, Tahoe Avalanche dogs, Contra Costa County Search and Rescue, National Ski Patrol, and Sugar Bowl ski patrol.

May was last seen wearing a blue Colombia jacket, bright green pants, and a blue helmet.


UPDATE: Jan. 16, 7:48 p.m.: The Placer County Sheriff's Department says the search for a Sugar Bowl ski instructor, missing since Thursday, will resume Sunday with additional searchers. More than 43 people, in heavy rain and with avalanche conditions, searched Saturday. 

Original Post: The Placer County Sheriff's Department continued a search Saturday for a missing ski instructor at Sugar Bowl Resort, with the assistance of its Tahoe Nordic Team.

More than 43 people started the search Saturday, but the department says high avalanche danger and heavy rains are limiting the search area. And a helicopter won’t be able to assist until there is a break in the weather.

The ski instructor, Carson May, 23, was last seen skiing at the resort Thursday afternoon, according to the Placer County Sheriff's Office. He did not show up for his ride home, and it was discovered Friday morning that May never made it home Thursday night. They reported that his belongings were still in his locker at the resort.

May was last seen wearing a blue Colombia jacket, bright green pants, and a blue helmet.

The Placer County Sheriff's Department says search teams are from the Placer County Sheriff's Office (Auburn and Lake Tahoe stations), Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue, Tahoe Avalanche dogs, Contra Costa County Search and Rescue, National Ski Patrol, and Sugar Bowl ski patrol.