JCSO: Think twice when on the mountain

If you plan to hit the slopes, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says skiers and snowboarders must be careful.

The warning comes just one day after search and rescue crews rescued 27-year-old Eli Kepsel near Mt. Ashland.

Kepsel spent two nights out in below-freezing temperatures after his snowboard got loose and went beyond the ski area boundaries.

JCSO officials said they hope Kepsel’s survival raises awareness about staying safe in the harsh winter.

“We have a great search and rescue team, but really we want people to focus on prevention so that things like this don’t happen,” said JCSO Sergeant Julie Denney. “We urge people to not go alone into the back country and not to go there at all if you’re not familiar with the area.”

JCSO said if you do feel comfortable enough to explore the rough terrain, make sure you have all the gear you need to survive for several nights out in the elements.

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