January 27, 2008 in Nation/World

Body of avalanche victim found

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
 

LOS ANGELES – As a fierce storm barreled toward Southern California on Saturday, searchers found the body of a third avalanche victim and rescued a missing snowboarder who survived a frigid night in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Taking advantage of a lull in a week of storms, searchers found the body of Christopher Allport, 60, one of two people reported missing Friday near the Mountain High ski resort in Wrightwood. The other person, Oscar Gonzales Jr., 24, was found Saturday after spending the night on the mountain.

Believing there was no one else missing, officials called off search efforts.

Allport’s identity was confirmed by someone at his family home who declined to give her name. A character actor who has appeared on such TV shows as “ER,” “Felicity,” and “Matlock,” Allport wrote a story that appeared in the Los Angeles Times in 2004 about the pleasures and dangers of backcountry skiing.

“Any excursion into the mountains requires awareness,” he wrote. “Have fun, but be careful.”

Gonzales told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that he got lost when he left the marked ski trails at the resort.

“I made the wrong decision about going out of bounds,” Gonzales said. “I hit a rock.”

Gonzales said he was not hurt but walked at least 13 miles overnight to keep warm, thinking of his 5 1/2 -year-old daughter, Jaden Ann. He said he found an old airplane fuselage and slept in it until about 4:30 a.m., when he went to an open field and waited until he was rescued by a sheriff’s helicopter.

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