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February 3, 2022 at 3:00 PM Editor’s note: Only the Van Norden portion of Royal Gorge trails will be closed to public access. The other 130 km of trails are open and accessible from Summit Station.

The California National Guard and the Tahoe National Forest will conduct a joint winter Search and Rescue training next week in the Van Norden Meadow area.
California Air Guardsmen will be training at Van Norden Meadow on the Truckee Ranger District from noon until dusk February 8 and 9 as part of a week-long training program. Royal Gorge Cross-Country Resort will be inaccessible during this time.

The training will be highly visible but is not open to the public due to safety and logistics concerns. Aircraft traffic may increase out of Truckee Tahoe Airport throughout the duration of the training.

Van Norden was selected as a training site because it offers conditions needed for altitude, snow condition and austere woodland rescue training opportunities. The interagency training will consist of parachute operations, cold weather ground movement, and helicopter and military transport aircraft operations.

This training provides California Air Guardsmen the opportunity to train on advanced search and rescue capabilities. It also fosters vital interagency relationships.

“The Truckee Ranger District is pleased to work with the California Air Guard on these training exercises,” said Tahoe NF Ranger Jonathan Cook-Fisher. “We think Van Norden offers the perfect environment for these types of winter Search and Rescue exercises.”

“Sierra Nevada mountain communities often utilize these types of emergency resources in response to natural disasters, and we’re happy to play a part hosting these skilled professionals,” he added.

The Tahoe NF is coordinating with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Truckee Tahoe Airport and Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Area to provide logistical support and assistance for the event.