North Routt snowmobilers OK after long, cold hike

Search and Rescue reach pair early Sunday on Forest Service Road 42


— Rescue crews found a man and woman from North Routt County cold but unhurt early Sunday morning, after a stuck snowmobile caused the two to take a long, dark hike to an area with cell phone coverage.

Jim Linville, incident commander with Routt County Search and Rescue, said a 45-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman from North Routt were snowmobiling between Steamboat Lake and California Park on Saturday, along Forest Service Road 42 and Routt County Road 80, when a snowmobile got stuck and they decided to start walking.

Linville said the couple walked back up C.R. 80 to return to F.S.R. 42, covering about five miles in about three hours. They reached an area with cell service and called for help after 11 p.m. Saturday.

Linville said at one point, the couple came across a Forest Service cabin in the area and considered breaking in for shelter, but decided instead to continue walking.

Linville said the man and woman had little to no food or water and were tired and cold when rescuers reached them.

“It might not have been too good if they hadn’t been able to get to that cell phone coverage spot,” he said.

Kristia Check-Hill, of Search and Rescue, led the effort to reach the man and woman.

Fortunately, Linville said, things turned out well.

“They were fine, but cold and dehydrated,” Linville said.

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or e-mail


Bob Kois 6 years, 2 months ago

Been there, almost did that. Luckily one more snowmobiling person was coming out of the area about 1 am New Years Eve 2009 and gave one of our party a ride. Saved our bacon/lives. 3 machines broken down at the same time, same location.

Called Search & Rescue to let them know if they found the broken down machines, we were out safe.


mtroach 6 years, 2 months ago

Is it really the best idea to go out on one sled to the backcountry without food or water? In a blizzard? They were lucky to get any cell coverage at all.


Zoomie 6 years, 2 months ago

Novices, and new to the area I heard. Probably thought no risk involved, like gettting in your car and driving to Denver.


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