Search for Missing Lake Tahoe Ski Instructor Suspended Indefinitely

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Carson May. photo: placer country sheriff
Carson May. photo: placer country sheriff

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office has suspended it’s search for missing Sugar Bowl ski instructor Caron May indefinitely after 5 days of extensive searching with searchers, dogs, and helicopters.

No trace of Carson has been discovered and it’s now feared that he was killed in an avalanche.

Caron went missing on Thursday during high avalanche danger and it’s believed that he headed into the backcountry just behind Sugar Bowl ski resort which is where the last ping from his cell phone was located on Friday before the battery likely went dead.

Searchers found numerous avalanaches in the Sugar Bowl backcountry during their search.Our condolences to the Carson’s friends and family and the entire Sugar Bowl team.

Carson May. photo courtesy Placer County Sheriff's Office
Carson May. photo courtesy Placer County Sheriff’s Office


“The 23-year-old went missing at Sugar Bowl Resort on January 15 during white-out conditions, and despite days of intensive searching, has not been located.  Conditions during the five days of searching have been treacherous due to frequent heavy snow and the associated risks that high avalanche danger poses to the many search and rescue volunteers. Placer County Sheriff’s personnel, Sugar Bowl representatives and chaplains met with the May family today and it is with regret that we must suspend the efforts to locate Carson.” – Placer County Sheriff’s Office



“Tragically the hard work and determination of hundreds of search and rescue professionals and volunteers has not resulted in finding Carson.  First and foremost, however, our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go to the May family, who have been dealing with the unthinkable these past five days. The May family and Sugar Bowl will work together moving forward to try to find some sense of closure. Sugar Bowl wishes to sincerely thank the more than 400 professionals and volunteers, including seven avalanche dog teams and three helicopter teams who contributed to this monumental effort, including but not limited to: The Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue, the Nevada, Eldorado, Contra Costa, Fresno, Monterey and Douglas County Search & Rescue Teams, Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit, Marin County Rescue, the United States Forest Service, California State Parks, Tahoe Backcountry Patrol, Tahoe Avalanche Control Team, Air Force National Guard, California Highway Patrol, and of course Sugar Bowl’s Ski Patrol, National Ski Patrol, Ski School and all staff members.”

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