Rescue crews find body of missing snowboarder

MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. — The body of a missing snowboarder was recovered Sunday morning near Mount Shasta Ski Park after more than three days of searching failed to turn up the missing man.

Alexander Gautreaux, 23, of Mount Shasta, had been missing since Thursday afternoon. His remains were discovered by search and rescue crews at about 9 a.m. Sunday. His body was buried upside down in a snowdrift about 100 feet outside of the boundaries of the ski area, off one of his favorite runs, Coyote Run, said Allison Giannini, spokesperson for the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department.

Gautreaux had called his wife at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday to say he was going to make one last ride down, then return home, she said.

"He never made it," Giannini said.

Siskiyou County search teams first began the hunt for Gautreaux at about 7 p.m. Thursday and worked that night until 3 a.m. in a futile effort to find him.

Search-and-rescue crews from Jackson County, as well as Portland, Klamath Falls and Lake Tahoe helped in the search for the missing man. For parts of four days, rescuers were out on the runs until late at night and were back on the slopes before dawn, she said.

Crews used ski patrol snowmobiles, Snow-Cats and tracked vehicles, which are able to traverse extreme terrain. The search was hampered by falling snow, fog and ice and freezing temperatures, police said.

"We had two feet of new snow since the time (Gautreaux) went missing," said Giannini. "That didn't help in the search efforts."

Jackson County Search and Rescue crew members helped locate another man who was also upended and buried in the snow. But they worked with ski patrol members to pull the snowboarder out before he asphyxiated, Giannini said.

"They say you only have about five minutes before you asphyxiate," she said. "(Jackson County crews) saved that person's life."

The Mount Shasta ski patrol reported the second snowboarder was an 18-year-old who had fallen into a deep depression in the snow under a tree.

Giannini had no further information on the man who was saved.

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