Search and Rescue crew finds lost hunter |

Search and Rescue crew finds lost hunter

Brad Bolchunos/Steamboat Today

— Routt County Search and Rescue Tuesday located a hunter lost in snowy wilderness without food and fire for more than two days.

Andrew Geoit, 50, walked throughout the night before rescue crews found him uninjured at 1:30 p.m., said Routt County secretary Jim Heckbert.

"he's cold, and hungry, but otherwise we understand he's OK," Heckbert said. It's fortunate. It's the great reward of what we do, when you find them alive and in good health.

Rescuers, working since just after midnight Monday, combed Quaker Mountain 20 miles northwest of Steamboat Springs with dog teams, hikers, skiers, snowmobiles and a Thiokol snow-grooming machine. A U.S. Air Force helicopter from Cheyenne, whose four-member crew volunteered to participate in the search effort, finally spotted Geoit.

"He was in the primary search area where we thought he might be, we just weren't able to get to him," Heckbert said, noting the expansive area involved in the search. He said Geoit was found near the Elk Head River, north of the mountain.

From Anchorage, Alaska, Geoit was familiar with cold climates and well dressed for the environment, although reportedly he suffered from minor frostbite on one foot.

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He had a cigarette lighter and tried to start a fire after realizing he'd lost his way from a camp with fellow hunters, Heckbert said. But repeated attempts to light a fire failed, Heckbert said, even when Geoit tried to use gunpowder from one of his bullets.

As more time passed, rescuers worried about the impacts of weather and health. Geoit reportedly underwent double bypass heart surgery less than two years ago.

The rescue marked the second successful mission in two days for Routt County Search and Rescue, which located another missing man Monday at 2:30 p.m.