Search update as of 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19:

As the search for 23 year old Alex Gautreaux continued into Saturday evening at the Mt. Shasta Ski Park, Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said, “We are exhausting every available resource we have at our disposal to bring him home.”

Though the search continues to be hampered by two feet of new snow and “the countless areas within which searchers must probe for the missing snowboarder,”?according to a release from the Sheriff’s Department, Lopey said it is being assumed that Gautreaux “may be injured or lost on the mountain.”

Gautreaux is “physically fit, is wearing adequate winter clothing, is familiar with the mountain environment,” and has a strong motivation to survive, the release states.

CAL?FIRE has contributed to the search by providing Search and Rescue teams with infrared technology, enabling the crews to enhance their night searches, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Story by Paul Boerger posted Saturday at 1 p.m.

The search for missing snowboarder Alexander Gautreaux continued Saturday morning with dozens of search and rescue personnel combing the Mt. Shasta Ski Park. The 23 year old Mount Shasta resident has been missing since Thursday.

Search and rescue teams gathered in the early morning for a briefing and search area assignments. Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey stressed that safety is paramount as the search continues.

“Be safe and go in pairs,” Lopey said.

Searchers reported that with the snow dumped by recent storms, they were often up to their chests as they used long poles as part of a search that Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue briefer Deputy Celeste Fowler described as “slow and tedious.”

Sheriff’s spokespersons said the strategy is ultimately to search every tree well in the Park, numbered in the thousands. The area outside the Park boundary has been searched with no sign of the missing man.

Over 50 searchers began looking in the tree lines off the Ski Park’s Douglas lift. With the recent storms, snow depths around the trees can go to eight feet and more.

A search and rescue dog, trained to sniff out humans buried in the snow, will ride the lifts and assist in the search.

Ski Park operations manager Jason Young praised the community for their support.
“We have people coming up who just want to help,” Young said. “Shasta Mountain Guides personnel just showed up. We didn’t even have to ask.”

In a press release Saturday morning, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department said its Search and Rescue team was being assisted by Search and Rescue teams from  Jackson, Shasta, Klamath, Lassen, Josephine, and San Mateo counties, as well as the US Forest Service.

Nordic ski teams from Mt. Shasta Ski Park, Marin County, Crater Lake, Ore., and Lake Tahoe are also helping.

The Oregon National Guard based out of Eugene joined the search Saturday morning.

Sheriff Lopey and Fowler expressed their gratitude to all of the allied agencies, Ski Park staff and workers, and all volunteers “who are relentlessly and courageously pursing the exhaustive rescue effort.”