Snowboarders in good condition after rescue from icy Donner Peak

By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer
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Two young women were rescued from an icy cliff by the Placer County Sheriff's Tahoe Nordic Team and emergency responders Thursday morning after they snowboarded out of bounds at Sugar Bowl Ski Area Wednesday afternoon. Megan Gallagher, 18, of Roseville, and 19-year-old Samantha Lumley, of Soda Springs saying contacted the Placer County Sheriff's Office dispatch center by cell phone at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, staying they were lost on a mountain side near Mt. Judah, just off the backside of the Sugar Bowl Ski Area, officials said. They said they snowboarded out of bounds earlier in the day with the prospect of reaching Donner Lake, said Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff's Department. They took a wrong turn and ended up on the north face of Donner Peak and were unable to move due to extreme cliffs and icy conditions, according to Sheriff's Deputy Dave Hunt. One of the women had fallen about 100 feet, but she was not injured. Lumley reported she could see Donner Lake and Old Highway 40 from her location, which provided the Sheriff's Office with the girls' general location. Assisting the Sheriff's Tahoe Nordic Team was Placer County Fire, Truckee Police, and Sugar Bowl Ski Patrol. Around 2:30 a.m. Thursday rescuers were lowered approximately 400 feet to the women's location. They were cold but in good condition and denied any medical treatment, Erwin said. The Placer County Sheriff's Office reminds snow sport enthusiasts that it is a crime to knowingly ski in an area or on a trail that is posted closed to the public. Always be prepared for unexpected conditions, keep a cell phone nearby and let others know where you going and when you plan to return, officials said.