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775 Offroad and Recovery Rescues Family of Four

775 Offroad and Recovery Rescues Family of Four

775 offroad and recovery
The photo was taken by a 775OFR recovery team member as he followed the stranded vehicle being towed to safety.

At 9:30am on January 11, while the greater Reno area was digging out from over two feet of snow, the Sierra County, California Sheriff’s Office contacted 775 Offroad and Recovery (775OFR) regarding a family of four, including 2 young children, stranded overnight near Stampede Reservoir in a Lincoln Navigator. 775OFR is a non-profit dedicated to recovering anyone stranded off-road, staffed entirely by volunteers, including their 24-hour dispatch line.

The 775OFR dispatcher issued a high-priority call to the trained volunteer recovery team. If a team could reach the family, it would negate the need for dispatching expensive Search and Rescue resources.

Brad Vest, VP of 775OFR, discussed the situation with the Sheriff.  The vehicle owner had to walk over 2 miles thru the deep snow to get cell coverage to contact the Sheriff.   The family was safe and had water but had run out of food the previous evening.    A team of trained recovery experts was quickly assembled. Brad led the way to assess trail conditions, followed by Ralph after about 30 minutes. Skip brought up the rear, stopping to get sandwiches for the family.

After navigating challenging conditions on I-80, Brad arrived at the Stampede Reservoir Trailhead to find no tracks on the road – a clear sign that no one had traveled the route since the blizzard. Familiar with the 20+ mile trail to the reservoir, Brad decided to air down his tires to 10 PSI for better flotation in the snow. Two hours and nearly half a tank of gas later, Brad reached the location provided by the Sheriff, but the vehicle was not there.   Without any tracks in sight, he continued another 2 miles, eventually finding the stranded vehicle. The family was overjoyed to see him.

The journey, which would typically take two hours from Brad’s home, had taken nearly four hours due to the hazardous conditions.

Upon arrival, Brad provided the family with snacks and reassurance.  Using traction boards provided by 775OFR, the vehicle was quickly unstuck.   It was determined that the Navigator could not be driven out due to the trail conditions. The safest option was to tow the vehicle the entire 20 miles back to I-80. With the other team members now on-site, they helped break trail while Brad towed the Navigator back.

The family finally reached I-80 after over 24-hours stuck on the trail. Despite the icy conditions and chain controls, they were relieved to be back on paved roads. The 775OFR team, having ensured the family’s safety, faced at least a two-hour drive home.

775 Offroad and Recovery is a 100% volunteer organization dedicated to ensuring everyone gets home safely after a day on the trail.  If you become stranded off-road, you can contact the 775OFR 24-hour dispatch line at 775-238-3793. Donations gratefully accepted at 775ofr.com

– From 775 Offroad and Recovery

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Bluewolf family
Bluewolf family
3 months ago

Thank you for this message off-road navigators or what we need up here not living here too many years while 16 years we’ve had a number of times where my grandson would drive up there and luckily he was able to come back and find his way back but knowing that you guys are out there makes it so much better and so comforting want to thank you all

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