Three sheriffs offices and the Willamette Ski Resort participated in a rescue operation Wednesday night that may have saved the lives of three Oregonians. Two men and a woman were snowshoeing near the ski resort when they became exhausted walking through three feet of fresh snow. The call for help came in at 7 last Wednesday night but rescuers faced the same daunting challenge as those being rescued. “The individual breaking the trail for the group could only break trail for two to seven minutes. They would then have to stand to the side and be shuffled back for a 45 to 90 minute rest period before they were able to break trail for the group and continue on.” Deschutes County Sheriff Captain Mark Mills said rescuers reached the three a little after five this morning. They had built a snow cave and were in good shape. None of the three required hospitalization and Mills said they had been adequately prepared to spend 24-hours outdoors. Two members of the rescued party were from Eugene and one was from Central Point.