Skip to Content

Searchers find missing Mt. Bachelor snowboarder


The search for a snowboarder from California, missing on Mt. Bachelor, took a big positive turn Sunday night when he was able to call and report he was OK, though it still took late into the night to find him near Lava Lake, after he had hiked some seven miles.

Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort contacted the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office around 3:45 p.m. regarding a lost snowboarder identified as Andrew Wong, 35, of San Jose, Calif.

Wong had been snowboarding with two friends, also from San Jose, and last was seen around 12:20 p.m., before the group’s last run for the day, said sheriff’s Deputy James Whitcomb, assistant Search and Rescue coordinator.

Wong’s friends lost sight of him and began to look for him, unsuccessfully, Whitcomb said. Wong texted his friends a short time later, saying he was alright and had found another area on the mountain that had fresh snow.

But when he failed to return, they notified the resort,and Mt. Bachelor Ski Patrol crews searched the area but also were unable to find him.

Lt. Bryan Husband, the agency’s search and rescue coordinator. said the friends described Wong as a “very skilled” snowboarder who had visited Mt. Bachelor before. He was reported to be dressed for the near-freezing conditions, and he was carrying water and possibly food as well.

Whitcomb added that Wong’s friends said he was very competent and fit, with some mountaineering experience.

The lieutenant said there had been rain in the late afternoon, with fog and low clouds moving in as darkness fell and some sleet reported at higher elevations, making for some “pretty icy” conditions near the top of the 9,068-foot peak. Whitcomb said the fog and poor weather made it unsafe to use aircraft in the search

Searchers believed Wong went out of bounds off the back side of the mountain and were “searching the trails down below to pick him up,” Husband said.

About 20 SAR volunteers responded to the mountain, along with deputies and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers.

Around 8:15 p.m., Husband said the snowboarder had been able to get cellphone reception and reported he was okay and was hiking west on a trail toward Lava Lake.

Search teams were sent to Lava Lake and began hiking toward Wong, finding him just before 10 p.m. about a half-mile north of the lake, in good condition, Whitcomb said. The searchers took him back to Mt. Bachelor, where he was reunited with his friends.

Deputies learned Wong had seen the boundary signs at the top of Mt. Bachelor and decided to skirt them and travel to his right, thinking he was on the front side of the mountain — not realizing he was actually on the south side.

But Wong soon realized he was not where he thought he was and let gravity work in his favor, deciding to head downhill, toward a lake he could see in the distance, Whitcomb said.

Wong ended up hiking about seven miles after leaving the mountain, until he was located. He had tried to call 911 numerous times but was unable to get through, Whitcomb said.

The sheriff’s office reminded those drawn to seek untracked snow on Mt. Bachelor to be aware of the visible boundary along its perimeter. The boundaries can help skiers and boarders get back to the lifts and the resort.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ News Team


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content