Monday, December 23, 2002
Nine snowmobilers were rescued early Monday after becoming stranded in deep snow on Buffalo Pass.
Routt County Search and Rescue sent a backcountry ambulance on a Snowcat, and skiers carried snowshoes to the people, who were from Fort Collins and Summit County.
The group was brought to safety after midnight Monday morning. The snowmobilers were cold, tired and wet, but no one was seriously injured, said Darrel Levingston, incident commander for the rescue. He said the biggest concern for rescuers was hypothermia.
"We had a really good idea where they were, we just needed to find a way to get to them," Levingston said. "The snow is so deep up there, people were just getting stuck left and right. If you got off the trail, you got stuck."
The snowmobilers were stuck at about 10,000 feet in elevation, where the temperature was around zero. Levingston said the snowmobilers were on Buffalo Pass beneath the power line that traverses the area.
The snowmobilers, eight men and one woman ages 17 to 40, got stuck at about 11 a.m. Sunday. They contacted the Jackson County Sheriff's Office by cell phone, and Jackson County contacted Routt County. The snowmobilers, who were divided into two groups, stayed in contact with search and rescue via cell phone and two-way radio.
Levingston said a couple snowmobilers going through the area were able to ferry out two boys who were with the group.