A Redmond man was one of three people who were rescued after trying to keep warm in a snow cave in a snowy remote area, according to a Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Joe Treinen, 38, of Bend, called dispatch around 4:30 p.m. March 2 to report that he and Brandon Steele, 26, of Redmond, and Brian Leahy, 61, of Bend, got lost snow biking, officials said. Dispatch used GPS coordinates from Treinen’s phone to determine the three were just north of the city of Bend watershed boundary near Bridge Creek Trial, west of Tumalo Falls, officials said.
After being sent a map, Treinen said they would attempt to ride out of the area, but called back an hour later to say they’d only made it between 100 and 300 yards because of difficult terrain caused by recent snowfall, officials said.
After another hour of unsuccessfully trying to get out, the three decided to stay in place and wait for rescue workers, officials said.
They made the snow cave to get out of the elements but lacked a way to start a fire, officials said.
Eleven sheriff’s search and rescue volunteers snowmobiled to the area and walked with snow shoes the final 1 1⁄2 miles to the stranded men, reaching them around 1 a.m. officials said.
They provided the men snow shoes to walk back to the snowmobiles, where they got rides back to the snow park, arriving at 4 a.m., officials said.
The men required no further medical treatment and were reunited with family and friends, officials said.
The sheriff’s office advises people traveling in the backcountry to carry maps or GPS to help them stay out of restricted or closed areas. They should also bring supplies to help them make it through the night, if needed.