CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (AP) — Dozens of searchers combed western Maine’s Sugarloaf ski mountain on Monday for a 17-year-old skier who disappeared during a family ski outing.
Nicholas Joy of Medford, Mass., was reported missing Sunday afternoon after failing to meet up with his father, Maine Warden Service spokesman Doug Rafferty said.
The Sugarloaf ski patrol, game wardens and others searched in-bounds and out-of-bounds areas on skis, snowshoes and snowmobiles late Sunday afternoon and into the night before the search was suspended at 1 a.m. Monday because of poor visibility.
The search resumed at first light and continued until dark, when the search was suspended until morning, said Rafferty. The Warden Service did not use a plane during the search because of windy conditions.
‘‘Visibility is pretty sketchy up there right now with winds and blowing snow,’’ Rafferty said late Monday afternoon.
Joy skied with his father, Robert, in the morning and was last seen near the Timberline chairlift that reaches the top of the mountain.
Joy and his father split up and took separate trails from the top, and the father called for help when his son later failed to meet up with him, wardens said at an afternoon news conference.
Rafferty said Joy’s mother and father are divorced, but both parents and his siblings were at Sugarloaf on Monday during the search.
Medford Public Schools Superintendent Roy Belson said Nicholas Joy is a high school senior, but declined to provide additional information at the request of the missing teen’s family.
One or two skiers get lost and are reported missing at Sugarloaf every winter, but Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin said there’s never been a lost skier who died in his eight years at the resort.
In a highly publicized case three years ago, four teenage snowboarders got lost after going out of bounds into ungroomed expert terrain, but they survived a cold night in dense woods and deep snow by continually moving around to stay warm.
Temperatures on Sunday night were relatively warm, dropping into the mid-20s with light snow falling, Austin said.
In a separate incident at the nearby Saddleback Maine ski resort near Rangeley, searchers found two skiers Monday morning who were reported missing the day before.
Rafferty said the men went off the back side of the mountain and were located on a snowmobile trail. Their identities and condition weren’t immediately available.