Friday, February 16, 2007
Steamboat Springs A group of seven snowmobilers who had been missing in North Routt County since Wednesday afternoon was found at about 9 p.m. Thursday.
All of the men were thought to be in good condition.
The six Colorado Mountain College students and a 16-year-old boy visiting from Wisconsin went missing Wednesday after leaving on a private snowmobile tour. An eighth member of the group turned back Wednesday afternoon after it began to snow.
One of the missing men works for High Mountain Snowmobile Tours, and company officials began to search for the group about midday Thursday, Routt County Search and Rescue incident commander Darrel Levingston said.
Company employees called Search and Rescue when they couldn't find the men after a multiple-hour search. Search and Rescue crews began to mobilize at about 3 p.m. Thursday and searched the area until about 8 p.m., when efforts were called off until this morning because of darkness and heavy snow.
However, several of the missing men's friends headed out on snowmobiles late Thursday afternoon despite heavy snow and nightfall. The friends located the group of men at about 9 p.m. in the Silver City Creek Meadows area between Dome Peak and Farwell Mountain in North Routt County.
Levingston did not know whether the men were prepared to spend a night outside. Thursday night would have been their second night in the elements.
The Steamboat Springs area is under a snow and blowing snow advisory until 5 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. As much as a foot of snow is expected to fall during that period, and wind gusts could reach as high as 50 mph.
The low temperature Thurs-day night was forecast at 13 degrees.