Searchers find snowboarder near Snowbasin alive, well
A North Salt Lake man who went missing overnight during a storm at Snowbasin Resort was found alive and well about an hour after search efforts resumed at dawn Monday.
Weber County Search and Rescue crews reported that 38-year-old snowboarder Terence Hulsman was in good condition after having spent the night in the Birch Creek area. He was spotted, waving his arms, by a Department of Public Safety helicopter about 8:15 a.m.
Because of the unstable nature of the snow within the area where Hulsman was found, a helicopter retrieval was planned.
"They [used] the same helicopter that found him. . . .Search and rescue personnel [were flown] up there [on a ridgeline overlooking the area]. They [went] down to him on snowshoes, put some snowshoes on him and hiked back up [to the helicopter]," Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther said.
Hulsman was, walking under his own power, reunited with friends and family by 10 a.m. after the helicopter landed in a nearby staging area. He reportedly then left for the hospital to be checked out before returning home.
The father of two young children told reporters that he had become disoriented in the worsening conditions Sunday and decided to dig into the snow to wait out a cold, stormy night.
Referring to his wife and family, Hulsman told 2News, "I had to make it."
He had been last seen by a friend at the top of the resort's Strawberry Express Lift about 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.
"The weather was turning bad at the time, near white-out conditions," Lowther said. "Both he and his friend started down the [mountain] with plans to meet at the bottom. The friend made it down and waited for him, but he never showed."
"It was just a blizzard," Hulsman told 2News. "I took a wrong turn."
Snowbasin Ski Patrol members looked for Hulsman initially, with Weber County Search and Rescue joining the effort about 5 p.m. Searching continued until 11 p.m. Sunday, when crews suspended the operation until 7 a.m. Monday.
About 25 members of the search and rescue unit, on snowmobiles and skis, and a helicopter were assigned to the search effort Monday.
Lowther said it appeared that given the white-out conditions Sunday afternoon, Hulsman simply got disoriented, ending up in the Birch Creek area, which was under an avalanche danger warning and off-limits.