PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Authorities are looking for a 30-year-old man who has gone missing after he went snowboarding alone Tuesday at Mt. Hood Meadows.
Ryan Mather was reported missing around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday by his girlfriend who called authorities and said he never came home from the snowboarding trip.
Hood River deputies say his ski pass was last used in the late morning near the Shooting Star Express chair lift, which provides some access to backcountry areas. According to the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and ski patrol started an “immediate” search for Mather after finding his car in the resort’s parking lot.
Authorities think he may be in those areas away from the main slopes.
“One of the issues is that you can really get out to a lot of different terrain areas so our searchers are estimating hundreds of acres and that does include areas of Heather Canyon and parts of the backcountry that you can access,” said Hood River County Sheriff Matt English. “That’s why it’s such a benefit today to have so many people to spread out and focus on those areas.”
Mather’s family told officials he is an experienced snowboarder and he was at the mountain alone.
The Hood River County Sheriff told KOIN 6 News they’re taking advantage of the good weather by using drones and a chopper, in addition to 40 people searching on the ground. While the morning saw sunshine and relatively clear skies, officials said they are concerned at the chance of an avalanche Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities couldn’t find Mather overnight, and the search is now bringing in personnel from several search and rescue agencies as well as the Oregon Air National Guard.
Rescuers started the search Wednesday looking at areas around the chair lift where Mather’s pass was last swiped. Authorities said they will continue to search for the 30-year-old snowboarder Thursday.
Heather Canyon and Private Reserve were also closed Wednesday to facilitate the search and rescue effort.
This is a developing story.