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Community Celebrates Mt. Ashland Snowboarder Found Safe

Search and rescue teams from all around the area converged in Ashland to look for missing snowboarder Eli Kepsel. The team from Klamath found him Tuesday as he was walking, trying to find his way out of the wilderness.

Posted: Dec 11, 2018 5:09 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2018 9:23 AM

ASHLAND, Ore. -- Search and rescue teams from all around the area converged in Ashland to look for missing snowboarder Eli Kepsel. The team from Klamath found him Tuesday as he was walking, trying to find his way out of the wilderness.

"We were able to find at mid-day yesterday what we were pretty sure was his tracks going out of the ski area," explained Sergeant Shaw Richards with the Jackson County Sheriff's office. "Immediately ski patrols and search and rescue got on those tracks and they followed them for about 10 1/2 hours down through the drainages."

Eli, however, wasn't heading in a straight line. "He was zig-zagging back and forth and you could tell he was sampling different high spots and drainages trying to get his bearings," detailed Richards. "But it's just very thick up there and steep. So it's hard to know where you're at."

Eli's persistence paid off when he stumbled upon the Klamath County Sheriff's Department Search & Rescue Team.

"It's incredible!" exclaimed Matthew Marshall. "Knowing he's been out there for two nights. Often times we think worst case scenario in these instances. And this was a holiday miracle if you want to call it that."

Eli's family and friends were on scene as he was taken off the mountain in an ambulance. Cameron Johnson says he and Eli have been best friends since second grade. He says the last two days of uncertainty had been hard.

"No one's been able to sleep really since we've heard," explained Johnson. "So now we'll actually rest easy knowing he's safe and sound and back in loving arms."

Now, that cloud has lifted.

"He's in surprisingly good shape for being out there for two nights and putting 20 or 30 miles on, at least," said Richards" "He walked a bunch in that 2 days."

It's an observation his rescuer Matthew Marshall seconds.

"He's doing great," observed Marshall. "He said he recently moved up here from Arizona. He'd snowboarded Mt. Hood, Mt. Bachelor area before. But this was his first time at Mt. Ashland. And I think he'll remember this one for a while."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5105427

Reported Deaths: 74781
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153243027225
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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