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Missing runner found safe

By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff writer
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An Orangevale man was found safe Monday morning after getting lost and spending a cold night in the wilderness along the Western States Trail near Foresthill. Daniel Howard Rose, 46, was located by the California Highway Patrol’s H-20 helicopter around 8:13 Monday morning alive and well. “He was out running with members of his group when they lost visual contact with him at approximately 11 a.m. (Sunday),” said Lt. Jeff Ausnow of the Placer County Sheriff’s Department. “They looked for him until about 2 p.m. at which time they notified the Sheriff’s Department.” Rose survived the chilly overnight temperatures wrapped in a shower curtain he found in an abandoned cabin, officials said. “The cabin itself was so rat-infested that he didn’t stay inside,” Ausnow said. Rose was described as an experienced runner in good physical health but unfamiliar with the Western States Trail system. Tim Twietmeyer, a well-known ultra runner and 25-time veteran of the Western States 100 mile run, said Monday that it’s easy to get confused along the rugged trail. “There’s several times where the trail goes on and off fire roads,” he said. “That’s the easiest place to miss. It looks logical to stay on the road, but sometimes you should need to be going down a narrow trail.” Placer County Sheriff's deputies and U.S. Forest Service crews spent Sunday night searching for Rose on the Western States trail, which runs from Squaw Valley near Lake Tahoe to Auburn. A large-scale search was initiated which included helicopters, CHP’s fixed wing aircraft, 4-wheel drive and all-terrain vehicle teams, sear dogs and approximately 40 Placer County Search and Rescue volunteers. “People remained on the scene throughout the night, although active searching was hindered by darkness and rugged terrain,” Ausnow said. The CHP helicopter spotted Rose at 8:15 a.m. Monday standing on a bridge in a clearing. “That bridge is probably the best place to be seen,” Twietmeyer said. “It’s in the only cleared area surrounded by heavy woodlands. It’s a good place to be seen.” Rose was dressed for running, but not for the frigid overnight temperatures. He was wearing only shorts and a T-shirt as temperatures dropped into the low-30s overnight. “Once you’re lost and it’s dark now it’s how am I going to survive the night, not how am I going to get back to my car,” Twietmeyer said. The CHP helicopter picked Rose up and transported him to the command post on Foresthill Road where he was re-united with his wife. “He was cold and hungry, but was uninjured and otherwise in good health,” Ausnow said. The Journal’s Penne Usher can be reached at penneu@goldcountrymedia.com.