A Fullerton man missing while snowboarding at the Mountain High resort in the Big Pines area of the Angeles National Forest
was found early Wednesday and lifted off a snowy mountain by helicopter on Wednesday morning.
Brendan Shoemaker, 23, had last been seen about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday on the west side of the mountain after he apparently ventured into an area that was off limits, said Deputy Daryl Bonsall of the sheriff's Palmdale Station. Shoemaker was reported missing about two hours later, and a search was launched, involving personnel from the Los Angeles County sheriff's and fire departments, assisted by colleagues from San Bernardino County.
The search had to be suspended Tuesday night due to icy conditions. But shortly after daybreak on Wednesday, searchers in a helicopter spotted Shoemaker; an aerial rescue team was called to the scene. Rescuers lifted Shoemaker out at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday.
Shoemaker apparently was able to spend the night, in sub-freezing temperatures, in a snow cave.
"Once it started to get dark, I figured I should try to make a fire, so I started to strip the trees around me, but nothing was dry enough to make a fire," Shoemaker said after his rescue. "So I just crawled in the hole."
Shoemaker said a search helicopter flew over him a couple of times on Tuesday evening, even shined the light on the area where he was, but did not spot him.
A reporter asked shoemaker if he had learned any lessons.
"Don't go out of bounds," he said.