July 10, 2011
The search for the missing skier continued this last weekend utilizing K-9 search teams from around the region. A total of ten K-9 teams were brought in to assist in the search from Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah. Over 40 volunteers of the Gallatin and Madison County Sheriff Offices Search and Rescue searched for two days in an attempt to locate the Big Sky skier.
24 year old Brad Gardner was last seen on Wednesday, March 9 when he told friends that he was planning to ski solo in the Chippewa Ridge area of Lone Mountain. An intense search involving air and ground resources from Gallatin and Madison County’s Search and Rescue teams combed the area but failed to turn up any evidence of Mr. Gardner’s whereabouts.
The search was suspended on March 28 due to conditions. Snow had continued to accumulate in early spring storms. Many areas could not be searched and still allow for the safety of the search teams.
Since that time, some air and ground searches on a limited basis were conducted. Conditions on the mountain have made searching difficult with the heavy snow Montana has experienced over the last winter.
“The search this weekend was designed to add the expertise of the dog teams to enhance search capabilities. Unfortunately, the search teams were not able to uncover additional information on Mr. Gardner,” stated Incident Commander Deputy Ian Parker.
The search has been able to cover large areas but still more remains to be checked. The search will continue into the future and expand into other areas. “We intend to continue the search until Brad is found. We will not give up in order to bring closure to the family,” stated Gallatin County Sheriff Jim Cashell.
Madison County Sheriff Dave Schenk echoed this sentiment. “We have a mission to find Brad and we are certain with the quality of the searchers involved, we will.”
Members from both the Gallatin and Madison County Sheriff’s Offices wish to express their appreciation to the K-9 search teams, the Gallatin and Madison County search and rescue teams, the Big Sky Resort, Yellowstone Club and the many Big Sky area businesses who have been extremely supportive of the search efforts.