Michael Madden 2011-03-11
Search for missing snowboarder suspended
March 21, 2011
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) officials
suspended the search as of 3:30 pm Sunday for a 35 year old snowboarder Michael
Madden missing on Deer Mountain after investing days in the search.
The search, started Saturday March 12th, involved 28 KVRS members including two
KVRS dog teams , the Alaska State Troopers, and three members of SEADOGS of Juneau,
and many members of the community who supported efforts by supplying food and other
During the final briefing Jerry Kiffer of Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS)
advised that while the team was not able to bring Michael Madden home the operation
should be considered a success, “The area covered by search crews in some very difficult
weather was amazing,” said Kiffer. The first five days of the operation included
winds as high as 50 mph and over 5 feet of new snow resulted in very high avalanche
danger and visibility at times down to 20 feet. The weather moderated on day 7 of
the search allowing two certified avalanche dogs from SEADOGS out of Juneau were
able to reach the avalanche slides on the north face of the mountain. Deep snow,
in excess of 20 feet hampered search efforts making spotting tracks or other clues
Search operations began on March 12th for a 35 year old Michael Madden overdue from
a day hike up to Deer Mountain. Madden was reported as overdue to the Ketchikan
Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) when he failed to return at 6:30 pm.
Madden's parents reported he was an experienced outdoors person who snowboarded
every weekend in the Mount Hood area and grew up here in Ketchikan, making many
trips up Deer Mountain in the winter. Madden was sighted around 12:00 pm on Saturday,
March 12th, headed up Deer mountain just below the second overlook. Madden had reported
the snow was deeper that when he was up the mountain the week before and wished
he had snowshoes but was moving slowly up the trail. Search teams were able on the
first search day to reach the north face of the mountain late that night (March
12th) before being turned around due to high winds and avalanche dangers.
KVRS officials feel when the snow begins to recede it is likely Madden will be located.
KVRS advised that anybody traveling on Deer Mountain should have snowshoes, avalanche
beacons, and be trained in avalanche awareness and back country travel.
Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) supplies SPOT satellite beacons free of
charge for back country travel, just contact their office at 225-9010.
On the Web:
Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) search and rescue reports http://ketchikanrescue.org/news.htm
Source of News:
Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS)