Former U-M student goes missing while skiing in California
A 31-year-old California man with ties to the University of Michigan's Earth and Environmental Sciences department went missing while on a backcountry ski trip in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range.
From the Google + page of Boris Avdeev
Boris Avdeev, who earned a doctorate degree in geology from U-M last year, has not been heard from since April 19, when he set out on his solo ski trip in Mono County, Calif.
Officials there started to search for him this week when his car was found near the Cocaine Chute ski area.
Avdeev studied under U-M assistant professor Nathan Niemi, who said his former student has been working for him part-time while living out West.
Niemi said Avdeev is scheduled to start a post-doctorate fellowship at the University of California - Berkeley in the fall.
His disappearance has shaken the entire earth science community at U-M.
“The department is in shock,” Neimi said. “All his friends and colleagues are hoping for the best.”
Avdeev was a doctoral candidate from 2006 to 2011, when he graduated with a specialty in tectonics. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Avdeev is also a specialist in the geology of the Greater Caucus Mountains.
His knowledge of mountains is compounded with a lot of raw experience in the outdoors.
“He’s very experienced in backcountry skiing,” Neimi said. “He spent a lot of time in the backcountry.”
All police have to go on concerning Avdeev’s whereabouts is a note left under the windshield wiper of a black Honda Civic stating he was heading up Mount Dana Couloir for the day to ski down Cocaine Chute.
The Mono County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the parked car on Poole Plant Road off Highway 120 West at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to a release.
With warmer temperatures, even in the higher elevations, snow conditions have been affected and several avalanches have been seen in that area over the past several weeks, the release said.
On Wednesday, the sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) ground teams were dispatched to the Cocaine Chute area to start performing a lower chute search to see if they could locate Avdeev, but were unable to do so.
Additional resources were requested on Thursday including a helicopter, two rescue dog teams and mutual aid requests.
Friends, meanwhile, are hoping for the best and asking skiers in the mountains to be alert for Avdeev.
Neimi said it wasn’t out of the ordinary for Avdeev to head out into the wilderness for days at a time.
But when Neimi got the call on Tuesday saying that his former student was missing, he said it “was pretty frightening.”