Survivor Club

Rescue Map

Motorcycle ride gone wrong

Name Tom Louderback
Product Name ACR ResQLink+ PLB 375
Date of Rescue 05/10/2014
Saved By California Highway Patrol
Beacon Purchased From REI online
Lives Saved 1

I was headed to Tahoe City for Mother's Day, riding my dual sport motorcycle. Based upon online research and some feedback from a local dirt bike shop I decided to take the back roads (dirt) out of Auburn to Soda Springs/Norden on Donner Summit. The information on the roads was not accurate and I encountered numerous obstacles including downed trees and snowfields in the roadway.

I was expected at my mother's house at about 3:30 pm. The weather turned at about 1:30, temperatures dropped between 32 34 degrees and it began to snow quite a bit. As I rode I continued to encounter obstacles, dumping the bike fairly often and generally exhausting myself. I had gone through some terrain which was impassable in reverse, so I had to continue on, I had crossed the point of no return.

At 4 pm and after encountering more downed trees blocking the path I gave it one last try on the bike to get around the obstacles and hope to get through to my destination. It wasn't to be and I abandon the bike just west of the Granite Chief Wilderness. From there I began to hike on foot, in full motorcycle gear, with a survival bag of extra clothes, minimal food and water, gps, and my ACR ResqLink+.

I hiked up and down hills in a NE direction until 8 pm. With no sign of human life and no sounds from 1-8, I knew I was still too far in to make it out on my own. It was then I activated the ACR and settled in for the night on the side of a hill at about 7,500 ft. Once it got dark it really got cold. At about 10 pm I was thrilled to see that a CHP helicopter located me. I was surprised to see them as it was so steep I just assumed rescue would come by foot or quad, but there they were. After 30 mins of looking they found a place which they could drop a guy off to lead me back to the "LZ" even though they didn't land, just hovered really low so we could get in.

It turns out I was another 10-15 miles from civilization, I thought I was much closer. Soaking wet, in sub-freezing temps and strong winds, is a recipe for disaster. Getting out without the rescue facilitated by the ACR would have been questionable at best. I just bought the thing in Feb at the urging of my family and it really paid off. I'll need to listen to them more often.

Thanks all for your work on these products. As an aging boater, off road rider and adventurer, your unit makes us safer and allows us that edge when we need it.

Tom