Men rescued after night outside

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— Three snowmobilers were rescued from the Fish Creek Falls drainage area Saturday morning after spending Friday night in the elements.

Dawn Alperti, a public information officer for Routt County Search and Rescue, said the men, Tom Casanova, Adam Hansen and Mike Palmquist, all of South Dakota, were riding with a group of five other men on Buffalo Pass when one of the three headed down into the drainage area. He didn't realize he couldn't get out until it was too late.

Alperti did not know which of the three men initially got stuck, but she said two of his friends went down after him.

One of the men rolled his snowmobile and broke one of its skis, she said.

The group of five men tried to direct their friends out of the drainage, and the men called Search and Rescue at about 7 p.m. Friday when they realized they weren't going to get the men out without some help.

Search and Rescue crews met up with the group of five snowmobilers later Friday night and decided not to send out rescue teams because of the dangerous terrain and lack of snow, which would make it difficult for crews to reach the stranded group by snowmobile.

"These guys are young, they're healthy and they were well prepared to spend the night outside," Alperti said.

The men reportedly had extra clothing, material to make a fire and some food and water.

Search and Rescue crews on skis, snowshoes and snowmobiles began searching for the men at about 8:15 a.m. Saturday and found them at about 10:30 a.m.

"They're doing fine," Alperti said. "They were a little dehydrated, but otherwise they're doing well."

Alperti said crews were "warming the men up" before they began the trek out of the drainage area. Because of their location, the men had to snowshoe to the Fish Creek Falls parking lot.

The group of eight snowmobilers were experienced riders who have been to Routt County previously, Alperti said.

- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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