Two snowmobilers found on Rabbit Ears Pass

Father and son veered off trail; snowmobile got stuck in tree well


— Routt County Search and Rescue members found two lost snowmobilers, a father and son, Tuesday night near Dumont Lake on Rabbit Ears Pass.

Search and Rescue incident commander Tim O'Brien said rescuers found a 39-year-old Steamboat Springs man and his 11-year-old son, who is visiting from Wyoming, in good condition at about 7:20 p.m. The pair had been outdoors for about two hours in temperatures nearing "the low single digits" and snow was falling when they were found, O'Brien said.

"We were very lucky to find them tonight," O'Brien said. The pair had only expected to travel a short distance and did not have adequate clothing or equipment for a night outdoors, he added.

Search and Rescue spokesman Darrel Levingston said an ambulance was not called and the pair returned to Steamboat safely.

Levingston said the pair left a parking area near Dumont Lake at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday for a quick snowmobile loop. When the pair had not returned by 5:20 p.m., Levingston said, two adults waiting for them called the Routt County Sheriff's Office to report them missing.

O'Brien said their snowmobile got stuck in a tree well off the trail.

A Sheriff's Office investigator and two Search and Rescue teams responded to the scene. O'Brien said tracks in the snow led rescuers to the pair.

"We have such a good crew here in town," O'Brien said.

O'Brien said even on what is intended to be a 10-minute trip, precautions such as taking a cell phone and proper survival equipment, and riding with others, can make a world of difference.

"It's so easy to get stuck, it's so easy to get turned around, it's so easy for a storm to come in," O'Brien said. "At least in numbers, you're far better off."


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