At about 9:25 a.m, searchers found clothing and equipment believed to be the property of the missing person in a fresh avalanche just west of Cascade Lake. Additional resources were committed to the area, and with the help of a search dog the remains of Christopher Trethaway were located. His body has been removed from the area and next of kin have been notified.
While every indication pointed to Trethaway being alone and the time of the event, the entire area of the avalanche was searched. No other persons were located. While this incident ended with tragic results, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office is very grateful for the assistance allied agencies and Trethaway’s friends provided in the search.
Approximately 60 searchers were deployed including members from: the El Dorado County Search and Rescue unit, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, City of South Lake Tahoe Police Department, Lake Valley Fire Department, Fallen Leaf Fire Department, Meeks Bay Fire Department, the Tahoe Nordic Ski Team, California State Parks,and the California Rescue Dog Association.
On Sunday, 2-22-09, at about 6:30 p.m., the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a possible missing person. According to the information, South Lake Tahoe local Christopher Trethaway, 39 years of age, had apparently gone backcountry skiing on the previous day and has not been heard from since. His car has been located at the Bayview Trailhead near Emerald Bay and all indications are that he went backcountry skiing alone in the Maggies Peaks area.
With limited light and stormy conditions, a Hasty Team search of the immediate area was conducted by Search and Rescue personnel, but yielded no new information. Avalanche conditions are extreme in this area due to the underlying icy snow pack and recent warmer wet weather. The search was suspended until early this morning when ground teams re-deployed and hopefully conditions will improve allowing air support.
The El Dorado County Sheriffs Office would like to remind anyone using the backcountry, especially this time of year, of the importance of telling someone where you intend to go, how long you plan to stay, and how many persons are in your party.