Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

State Provides Rescue Funding.

Byline: Will Webber Journal Staff Writer

Highly organized squads of volunteers mobilize to find lost people when a distress call comes in

When Santa Fe resident James Siebert became disoriented and lost during a solo cross-country skiing trip in the Santa Fe National Forest, it set in motion a massive overnight rescue effort.

Among the volunteers from around the state were members of the St. John's College Search and Rescue team a group of students and townsfolk who have earned a solid reputation as one of the best search-and-rescue teams in this part of the country. Totaling about 100 members, the SJCSAR dispatched a small contingent around midnight Jan. 13.

St. John's is led by president Greg Malone. A veteran of dozens of searches that have ranged from the mundane to the life-threatening, Malone said this search began like many others: Late at night in harsh elements.

His team tracked Siebert through a high-elevation stream bed in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains covered in thigh-deep snow. Overnight temperatures dipped below zero.

"That was rough not only because of the conditions, but because we were right behind him almost the entire time," Malone said. "We could see his tracks right away, but since the team was on snowshoes and (Siebert) was on skis, we couldn't catch up. …

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