Two snowmobilers rescued after spending night on Rabbit Ears Pass |

Two snowmobilers rescued after spending night on Rabbit Ears Pass

— Two stranded snowmobilers are fine after spending Friday night on Rabbit Ears Pass.

Routt County Search and Rescue incident commander Kristia Check-Hill said she received a call early Friday evening to help rescuers from Jackson County. Two snowmobilers had called 911 after getting stuck in a meadow northeast of the Rabbit Ears rock formation.

Rescuers from Routt County joined the search at 5 a.m. after overnight search efforts were unsuccessful. A team from Jackson County reached the Front Range snowmobilers by about 7:30 a.m. Saturday

According to a weather monitoring station on Rabbit Ears Pass, the temperature got down to 17 degrees Friday night. Check-Hill said the snowmobilers were not prepared to spend the night. She said they had no food, water or light source as well as no way to start a fire. They were eventually able to start a fire using gasoline from a snowmobile, but it was difficult to keep the fire going because they were in a meadow without wood.

"It was probably a very brutal night," Check-Hill said.

No more information about the snowmobilers was available Saturday morning.

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She advised people who journey into the backcountry to take precautions and to be prepared for the unexpected.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email

Backcountry survival pack

Plan to head out into the backcountry? Local experts urge you to be prepared. Routt County Search and Rescue veteran Darrel Levingston suggests the following kit:

■ Waterproof/windproof matches and lighter

■ Various fire starters: Vaseline-soaked cotton balls, hand sanitizer, liquid gel

■ Small folding saw

■ Map and compass, and (optionally) a GPS device

■ Basic first aid kit (including antiseptic wipes, 2-inch-by-2-inch sterile pads, medical tape, Benadryl tablets)

■ Water bottle and water purification tablets or water filter system

■ Two reflective emergency blankets or reflective tarps

■ Energy bars, trail mix, power gels, cacao packets

■ Tin cup with insulated handle for warming snow or water

■ Warm hat and gloves, wool socks, fleece vest, rain coat and pants

■ Multi-tool (Leatherman type), duct tape (small amount), 15 to 20 feet of lightweight rope

■ Headlamp with extra batteries

■ Sunscreen

■ Two days’ supply of essential prescribed medications

■ Cell phone (keep this close to your body to keep the battery warm)

Also: Always tell someone where you are going and when you’ll return and/or leave an itinerary on the front seat of your car.