Rescuers find Central Point man, two other snowshoers after storm

A Central Point man was among three snowshoers rescued early Thursday after sheltering in a snow cave overnight during a fierce storm in Deschutes County.

Deschutes County sheriff's Capt. Marc Mills says teams from Deschutes, Lane and Klamath counties searched for the two men and one woman who were found early Thursday.

The men were identified as 32-year-old Joseph Walch of Central Point, 30-year-old Roman Anderson and 26-year-old Annie Mason, both of Eugene. The trio had been snowshoeing near the Maiden Peak Shelter north of the Willamette Ski Resort and planned to spend Wednesday night in the shelter. But as a snowstorm intensified, they tried to return to the resort. They called for help Wednesday evening.

Mills tells the Register-Guard the three were able to provide their GPS coordinates, which helped searchers find them even after their cell phones lost power. They followed instructions to dig a snow cave and stay put. Mills said the men were treated for mild exposure.

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