Routt County Search and Rescue stays busy with multiple calls over weekend |

Routt County Search and Rescue stays busy with multiple calls over weekend

Gate five and the other eight Forest Service access gates at Steamboat Ski Resort feature signs alerting skier's of the danger of leaving the ski area’s boundries. Skiers heading into the back country can do so safely, but they should be careful to tell someone where they’re going and make sure they’re familiar with the area. l Steamboat Resort/courtesy photo

Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers responded to three missions recently and were contacted about a fourth that resolved itself before volunteers arrived.

On Thursday, Feb. 10, volunteers assisted a snowboarder north of Seedhouse Road in north Routt County. The snowboarder reportedly rode through two trees and got caught in a tree snag that he did not initially see.

North Routt Fire Protection District firefighters and Search and Rescue volunteers were able to load the man into a Classic Air Medical helicopter, which transferred him to UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Search and Rescue President Jay Bowman said Tuesday that he believed the man underwent a successful surgery and will recover.

At the same time as that call, volunteers were contacted about a group of snowmobilers who got lost on Rabbit Ears Pass, though they found their way before volunteers arrived.

On Friday, Feb. 11, volunteers were called to help a man who was ice climbing at Fish Creek Falls and had a cardiovascular emergency while hiking back to the parking lot. Bystanders and Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue EMT’s were able to give the man CPR.

On Saturday, Feb. 12, volunteers assisted Steamboat Ski & Resort Ski Patrol in rescuing a man skiing in Fish Creek Canyon, which is near Steamboat Resort but technically out of boundaries.

The man had a broken leg and was transferred to the hospital after volunteers took him by sled to the Fish Creek Falls parking lot.

Bowman said recreating in the backcountry can be safe if done correctly, but those wanting to venture out should be extra careful.

Before going into the backcountry, Bowman encouraged recreators to bring a charged cellphone and keep it warm. He also suggested people check the weather and avalanche conditions, ski low-angle slopes and understand the area before heading out.

The most important thing to keep in mind when heading into the backcountry, Bowman added, is always telling someone where you’re going and when you plan to be back. If you’re not back by the time you expect, the person can contact search and rescue volunteers and tell them where to start looking.

“If we don’t know the area you intended to be in, we can’t really start a search,” Bowman said. “That’s why it’s important to tell someone else who’s not going with you, because cellphones can fail.”

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