Update: Worsening Snow and Avalanche Conditions Have Made Search Too Dangerous

The search for two missing snowboarders in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, who were last heard from on Sunday, November 12th, has been suspended indefinitely due to dangerous conditions.

… We know that given the conditions as time goes on, the likelihood of a positive outcome diminishes, said Bill Elfo, Whatcom County Sheriff. Our volunteers and deputies have endured tough and dangerous conditions and every effort will be made to do our best for the affected families.

Over a foot of snow fell at Mt. Baker this passed Sunday, added to more than 70-inch base.

Sheriffs Deputy Mark Jilk said, When snow conditions and the weather improves, we will try to get back into some steeper areas we have not been in yet.

However, that could be a week or more out, he continued. “Obviously if more information is obtained that limits our search area we will take a look at it. Safety of our searchers is a priority.

Our thoughts are will all the family, friends and rescue workers at this time.

We will update this story as more information comes in. 

Original Story: Heavy Snowfall Hinders search for Missing Snowboarders

Two snowboarders, Jake Amancio, 22, and Drew Lenz, 20, of Bellingham, WA, have been missing since Sunday, November 12. They were last seen snowboarding in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, just outside of Mt. Baker Ski Area.

The duo was reported missing by their roommate when they failed to return home Sunday evening. Search crews were deployed on Monday morning and found the boys car in the Heather Meadows parking lot outside of Mt. Baker.

Deep conditions at Mt. Baker. Photo: Courtesy of Whatcomm Sheriff Department.

Rescue teams including; Whatcom County Sheriffs Office, Border Patrol, and trained search and rescue volunteers have been searching since Monday, but the official search was postponed Tuesday evening due to blizzards and heavy snowfall.

If our volunteers are comfortable with snow conditions we will continue with the search Friday, or possibly Saturday, Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks said. The search suspension was in the interest of safety for our volunteers and search and rescue personnel. Higher level locations were deemed to be hazardous due to very heavy initial snowfall for the beginning of the season in this area.

Mt. Baker officially opened for the season on Thursday 11/16, and conditions have been very deep. As of Friday morning the ski area was reporting a 64 inch base, and had received over 14″ of fresh snow overnight.

We hope conditions improve and the search for the missing boys can resume. We will update this stories when new info comes in. 

A GoFundMe has been set-up by the family of the missing boys to help recoup costs associated with the rescue. See the full GoFundMe page here.

From the GoFundMe page:

My cousin Jake Amancio and his friend Drew Lenz went snowboarding at Mount Baker on Sunday November 12 2017 and so far have not returned. I am reaching out to everyone to contribute a little bit to help their families search for these amazing boys as the costs are high. Please share and help bring these boys home. #heyboys

Images courtesy of: Whatcom County Sheriff’s office. 

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