Search and Rescue finds lost snowmobiler
December 30, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Routt County Search and Rescue teams located a snowmobiler lost in North Routt County at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
The 26-year-old Iowa man had gotten separated from his group Wednesday afternoon near Steamboat Lake. Rescuers made contact with the man by cell phone and knew where he was, but they were unable to reach him Wednesday night, incident commander Dawn Alperti said.
The man had gone off the trail near Routt County Road 42 between Meaden and Diamond peaks, into the drainage of Floyd Creek, Alperti said.
The area "was just so dense and heavy with trees and then the snow would not stop last night," she said Thursday morning. "They could not see. So our teams went until about midnight trying some different access points to see how to get down there if they could get down there, and (we) finally pulled everybody back out just after midnight and went home."
Search and Rescue crews were paged again at about 5 a.m. Thursday, and three teams left the group's barn for North Routt at about 6 a.m., she said. A snowmobile, snowshoe and ski team were dispatched. The ski team located the man.
"They found him right away, right where we thought he was," Alperti said.
About 16 people responded from Search and Rescue on Wednesday and Thursday, and Steamboat Lake Outfitters staff members also helped with the search, she said.
Alperti said that she spoke with the man throughout the night on his cell phone and that he would have benefited from navigational tools.
"The biggest thing I think would have been a lot easier on him if he had a map and a compass because he really had no idea where he was," she said. The man's friends were able to direct searchers to his location, and rescuers could see the snowmobile's tracks.