Snowmobiler rescues self on Rabbit Ears Pass |

Snowmobiler rescues self on Rabbit Ears Pass

— A stranded snowmobiler used technology and endurance to rescue himself Wednesday evening from deep snow on Rabbit Ears Pass.

About 4 p.m. Wednesday, Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers were called to help the man, who was from the Dillon area.

Search and Rescue Incident Commander Russ Sanford said the man had been snowmobiling with other people, including his brother.

The man was separated from the other riders and got stuck and unstuck, then ran out of gas.

Using his smartphone, the man had a cell signal and was able to text a map of his exact location to Sanford.

“This new technology is amazing,” Sanford said.

The map showed the man was only 800 yards from the Colorado Department of Transportation building along U.S. Highway 40.

Regardless, Sanford advised the man to stay put, and Search and Rescue volunteers would come get him.

“At some point, he felt he could go for it,” Sanford said. “He walked out, believe it or not, in chest deep snow.”

Sanford said it took the man between 60 and 90 minutes to hike out — just as the first rescue team was arriving.

Sanford said the man was a little tired and had cold hands but was otherwise fine.

“Mostly, he was sweaty from the exertion,” Sanford said. “It’s OK to be sweaty if your next stop is a hot car, home or a hotel room.”

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

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.