Missing snowmobilers located in North Routt

Rescuers: no injuries and men had equipment for a night in the backcountry

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— Three snowmobilers reporting missing in North Routt County late Friday night were all safely located on Saturday, according to Routt County Search and Rescue.

The three Iowa men, all in their mid-30s, parked their truck at Steamboat Lake Outfitters and headed off on their snowmobiles Friday, incident commander Jim Linville said. While in the Dome Lake area, one of the snowmobiles broke down and another became stuck in a drainage, stranding the three men, Linville said.

No one was injured and the men had sufficient equipment to spend the night in the backcountry, Linville said. The men are familiar with North Routt and had snowmobiled there before, he said.

The three men were reported missing by their wives back in Iowa at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, Linville said.

"Normally when they get out of the field, they call in," Linville said. "The wives knew something was wrong."

But the women did not know where exactly their husbands had planned to ride, Linville said.

"We didn't really have any idea where they'd gone. We have between 500 and 1,000 square miles up there to cover if you've got no direction," Linville said.

Search and Rescue sent up a helicopter and a ground crew on Saturday morning to search for the missing snowmobilers. Two of them arrived back at Steamboat Lake Outfitters at about 10:30 a.m. on their only usable snowmobile, and gave Search and Rescue directions how to get back to the third man.

With directions, the rescue crew safely reached the third man early Saturday afternoon.

"People sometimes don't realize that they can have all the greatest equipment in the world, but if they don't tell somebody where they're going, it's a needle in a haystack," Linville said.

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