Search and Rescue called 3 times in 3 days for stuck snowmobilers in Routt County |

Search and Rescue called 3 times in 3 days for stuck snowmobilers in Routt County

Matt Stensland/Steamboat Today
A snowmobiler in deep snow on Buffalo Pass in 2011.
File photo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With the recent deep snow, Routt County Search and Rescue members are urging backcountry adventurers to be careful and to be prepared.

“I don’t think we can remind people enough,” Search and Rescue volunteer Kristia Check-Hill said.

In the course of three days, Search and Rescue was called to help with three separate incidents involving snowmobiles getting stuck in deep snow.

On Tuesday, two local men got stuck in bottomless snow in the Fish Hook Creek area on Rabbit Ears Pass.

Rescuers were able to determine the location of the men by tracing their cell phone signal.
A team of five rescuers went in to help.

“We knew where they were, but the snow was really deep and kind of sketchy,” Check-Hill said. “They had a pretty hard time getting everyone out.”

The men were somewhat prepared with some food and water.

“They were also able to make a fire, which was great,” Check-Hill said.

While that mission was occurring, Search and Rescue learned of three young men on Rabbit Ears Pass who had not checked in with a dad.

“The dad said they were not prepared to stay out overnight,” Check-Hill said.

The men made it back, and a rescue party did not need to go out.

On Wednesday, Search and Rescue was notified of a 25-year-old man on Buffalo Pass who had gotten stuck and was alone.

The man was not planning to be snowmobiling very long and was not prepared to spend the night.

The man was able to give his mother some idea of where he was, but then his phone died.

Search and Rescue did not have to send a team. Some people were able to rescue the man and bring him back to the parking lot.

Check-Hill said the incidents serve as a good reminder to be prepared.

“Have more than you think you need,” Check-Hill said. “Snow conditions are iffy all the time, and you should be able to build a fire because it might take us awhile to get to you.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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