Thursday, February 24, 2005
Routt County Search and Rescue was called Thursday evening to rescue four skiers stranded in the Fish Creek drainage.
The skiers, reportedly healthy men ages 30 to 50 who are visiting from out of state, were dropped off to go backcountry skiing on Buffalo Pass earlier in the day, said Routt County Search and Rescue incident commander Tim O'Brien. After skiing into the drainage and getting lost, the skiers used two-way radios to communicate with the person who dropped them off, and they tried to find their way out.
Members of the Steamboat Ski Patrol overheard the radio communications and also got involved to help but ultimately called Search and Rescue, O'Brien said.
"The Ski Patrol tried to help them orient themselves. ... But once you're in that drainage, it's so steep and gnarly that they didn't feel comfortable trying to get out on their own," he said.
Search and Rescue was dispatched at about 5 p.m. to help the men, who reportedly were in good health but tired. Searchers were in radio contact with the skiers and worked to pinpoint their location.
The skiers were well-prepared and were able to start a fire with equipment they had packed, said Sgt. Troy McDaniel of the Routt County Sheriff's Office.
With help from the person who dropped them off, searchers divided and one group started at Buffalo Pass and moved downward and another group started at the bottom of the drainage and moved upward looking for the skiers.
Search and Rescue members were able to reach the skiers and bring them out through the lower drainage, McDaniel said.
There do not appear to be any injuries, he said.
"Our awesome Search and Rescue team made another great recovery," he said.