UPDATED: Routt County Search and Rescue responds to lost, injured snowmobilers Sunday
January 21, 2019
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers rescued an injured snowmobiler near Dinosaur Lake on Sunday.
A 32-year-old man visiting the area received a shoulder injury while snowmobiling with three other people on Buffalo Pass, said Search and Rescue incident commander Kristia Check-Hill.
Search and Rescue volunteers were paged to the area to rescue the man at 1:24 p.m. Sunday. A Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue paramedic accompanied volunteers to administer pain-management drugs, Check-Hill said.
The man was transported to UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs to receive medical care.
At 2:39 p.m., Search and Rescue volunteers were paged to a second call near Walton Peak, where two snowmobilers from the Denver area became lost after being separated from their group.
Because volunteers were in the field on the Buffalo Pass rescue and unable to respond immediately, the men’s friends searched for the lost snowmobilers.
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The lost snowmobilers were able to communicate with handheld radios, but rescuers were unable to determine a search area from a cellphone ping until later in the day, Check-Hill said. Check-Hill then passed on the snowmobilers’ location to their friends, who searched unsuccessfully until about 4:15 a.m.
The men, one in his early 30s and the other age 39, spent the night in the backcountry. They were able to build a fire but had no food or water, Check-Hill said.
Their friends found them Monday, and they and their snowmobiles were out of the field at about noon. The men were cold, tired and hungry, Check-Hill said, but otherwise unharmed.
"It's great that people are calling sooner than later," said Check-Hill.
Search and Rescue recommends people call 911 as soon as they believe they are lost to ensure a better chance of being rescued before nightfall.
Check-Hill also advised that people headed into the backcountry carry a well-charged cellphone.
"Have that all-important cellphone with you, with batteries charged, and everybody carry a cellphone with them," she said.