Searchers attempt to rescue lost party

Six snowmobilers lost in Routt National Forest after storm hits area


By the Daily Press staff

Routt County Search and Rescue located six members of a snowmobile group lost Sunday afternoon northwest of the Steamboat Springs ski area.
According to Sheriff John Warner, Search and Rescue received a cell phone call at about 4:20 p.m.Sunday afternoon. The caller, who has not been identified, reported that the group had gotten lost in a snowstorm that reportedly dumped 10 inches of new snow on top of Rabbit Ears Pass.
Because of blowing snow, heavy snowfall and below-freezing temperatures, search and rescue personnel called the search off on Sunday night, but resumed searching this morning at 6 a.m.
"At daylight this morning, we sent out a local helicopter, a search and rescue snowcat and three ground teams, including snowshoers, snowmobilers and skiers," Warner said. "As of about 8:30 a.m., Search and Rescue located the party and has made contact with them."
Members of the search and rescue team maintained contact with the team throughout the night, and were able to walk the caller through building snow caves and fires to keep the party warm and dry.
"They are all in good condition as far as we know. One party reported possible frostbite to toes and fingers, and medical attention is our first priority this morning," Warner said.
None of the members of the party have been identified. Because of the limited battery time on the cell phone used to call the Sheriff's department, Warner said that they did not ask questions that weren't pertinent to the rescue effort.
All six snowmobilers are expected to be rescued today.
"I'm not sure exactly when the rescue effort will be completed, but we know where they are and we're putting together a plan."

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