Steamboat Springs Routt County Search and Rescue workers endured sub-zero temperatures and a 13-mile snowmobile ride Saturday night to recover the body of a 62-year-old Craig man who died in his hunting cabin north of Hayden.
Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg would not identify the man Sunday, pending notification of kin, but said the man appeared to have died of natural causes while on a snowmobile trip with a female friend near Quaker Mountain.
"His friend called 911 when she found him collapsed in the cabin," Ryg said. "She was outside, her sled was stuck, and he had told her that he was going in to start a fire. He never came out."
Ryg said the man's friend performed CPR, but was not able to revive him. Ryg is considering an autopsy, but said nothing about the incident seemed suspicious.
"In deaths like this, a (Routt County) Sheriff's Office investigator typically comes out, and he said nothing seemed suspicious as well," Ryg said.
Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall said he did not participate in the rescue, but Sheriff's Office Investigator Mike Curzon ac-
companied rescuers to the remote cabin, 13 miles from Routt County Road 80. Curzon was not available for comment Sunday.
Routt County Search and Rescue President Randall Han-
naway, who led the rescue effort, said the cold weather and treacherous conditions made for a difficult night.
"Quite frankly, it was a pretty straight forward rescue, other than being brutally cold," he said. "It was real rural. A lot of people have hunting cabins up there, and it's becoming real popular for snowmobilers to have some place to be based out of so they don't have to come back to town every day."
Hannaway said eight Search and Rescue personnel participated in the five-hour operation, which required a 45-minute snowmobile ride to the cabin.
"Everything was straight forward, and we went to retrieve the body and accompany the investigator to the scene," Hannaway said. "It's just real sad when you have one of these things so close to Christmas."