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Snowboarder missing at Mountain High found alive*

February 18, 2009 | 11:11 am

A snowboarder takes flight high over a jump at Mountain High in Wrightwood.A snowboarder missing since Tuesday afternoon at Mountain High resort in Wrightwood was discovered alive this morning.

Search and rescue crews spotted the missing man from a helicopter at approximately 7 a.m.

Brendan Shoemaker was snowboarding with a friend when he apparently went out of bounds on the west side of the mountain and disappeared, according to reports from the Palmdale Sheriff department, who were contacted by Shoemaker's friend. [*An earlier version of this post misspelled the snowboarder's first name as Brendon]

A search of the area ensued but was called off around 2 a.m. because of dangerous ice conditions on the mountain.  The effort resumed around 6 a.m. and Shoemaker was spotted by a helicopter crew about an hour later, when he was seen waving to them.

Shoemaker told KTLA News that he "made a wrong turn and just ended up way out of bounds." He said that he tried to light a fire for warmth during the night but the brush was not dry enough to ignite, and his lighter was out of fluid. Instead, he dug a cave in the snow and bundled up as best as possible.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A snowboarder takes flight high over a jump at Mountain High in Wrightwood. Credit: Al Schaben/Los Angeles Times