About 80 rescuers team up to find lost Tahoe man; he was missing for nearly two days | SierraSun.com

About 80 rescuers team up to find lost Tahoe man; he was missing for nearly two days

Dave Moller and Kyle Magin
Sun News Service

Greyson Howard/Sierra SunA California Highway Patrol helicopter flies above Donner Summit Thursday afternoon. Kevin Davis, lost near Castle Peak Tuesday, was found and transported in a CHP helicopter Thursday to Tahoe Forest Hospital.

FINAL UPDATE: 4 p.m. Thursday, March 4

DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. and#8212; Rescuers exhaled Thursday after they found a Tahoe City man who survived for nearly two days outdoors through brutal snow conditions.

A bevy of search and rescue personnel found Kevin B. Davis, 28, Thursday near Donner Summit after he disappeared from friends while snowshoeing Tuesday afternoon, said the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

Davis was airlifted in a California Highway Patrol helicopter to Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, where Sheriff Keith Royal said he was recovering Thursday from hypothermia.

and#8220;(Davis) was in relatively good condition, although very hungry,and#8221; according to a sheriff’s office press release.

It was unclear when Davis would be released.

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Conditions were relatively good early in the week, but snow picked up and visibility diminished Tuesday night into Wednesday, and up to 16 inches of snow were reported Thursday morning in the Truckee area.

The sheriff’s office said Davis was found about a third of a mile from the Peter Grub Hut near Castle Peak on Donner Summit at 12:25 p.m. Thursday. He was taking shelter in a snow cave he built, Royal said. He waved down helicopters from the Air National Guard and CHP with a thermal blanket.

and#8220;He’s an outdoorsman and had some knowledge on how to survive in this kind of a situation,and#8221; Royal said. and#8220;The conditions were extreme. Search and Rescue had a very difficult time with the tremendous visibility problems.and#8221;

Davis and three other individuals were snowshoeing and cross country skiing Monday and spent the night at the Peter Grub Hut, according to the sheriff’s office.

The group members were returning to their vehicles Tuesday when they lost Davis around 2:45 p.m. The Nevada County Search and Rescue team launched a quick search to the scene and found Davis’ tracks, only to have them obscured by falling snow. His cell phone died during the trip and Davis had no means of contacting rescuers, Royal said.

and#8220;It’s a good reminder that if you’re going to be out in these kinds of conditions you need a GPS or a working cell phone,and#8221; Royal said.

and#8212; Sierra Sun Reporter Greyson Howard contributed to this report.