2014-2-1 Group of 11 snowmobilers stuck and separated on Sawtelle Mountain

What started out to be a simple search for two stuck snowmobile enthusiasts in a canyon on Sawtelle Mountain in Island Park ended with searching and rescuing eleven snowmobilers; assisting an ambulance locate and transport an individual involved in an injury snow mobile accident; and locating a gentleman lost and stuck in the snow.

Saturday night at 7:54 p.m., Fremont County Search & Rescue members and four Jr. Search & Rescue members responded to a report of two snowmobilers stranded in a canyon on Sawtelle Mountain in Island Park. Base camp was set up in the Stamp Meadows parking lot on Sawtelle Road. Phone contact was made with the party of two, confirming a fire was built, and the party would stay put until FCS&R arrived. The search that started out to be two stuck individuals quickly turned into eleven individuals. Nine additional members of their party were stuck about 1/2 mile up the same canyon. Poor snow conditions, elevated avalanche danger, and steep terrain hindered the unit?s search efforts. Headlights and a fire were seen across the canyon, but a safe route to them had to be established. Shortly after midnight, all eleven snowmobilers were located and reunited. FCS&R lead the group of eleven out of the canyon, finally arriving at base camp at 1:00 a.m.

Island Park EMS Assist. FCS&R had no more than arrived home and changed their clothes when they were called out for a second time. Shortly after 3:00 a.m., their assistance was needed to help Island Park EMS locate and transport an injured individual involved in a snow machine accident to a waiting ambulance standing by on Highway 20 near Chick Creek Road. After helping the EMS system, the unit was advised that a member of the injured man?s group was unaccounted for. After phone calls were made, it was determined that the gentleman had become lost and stuck in a remote location on his way back to the cabin. Unit members located the snowmobiler and helped him get back to the cabin.

2014-2-2 Snowmobile Accident Chick Creek/Warm River Trail

What started out to be a simple search for two stuck snowmobile enthusiasts in a canyon on Sawtelle Mountain in Island Park ended with searching and rescuing eleven snowmobilers; assisting an ambulance locate and transport an individual involved in an injury snow mobile accident; and locating a gentleman lost and stuck in the snow.

Saturday night at 7:54 p.m., Fremont County Search & Rescue members and four Jr. Search & Rescue members responded to a report of two snowmobilers stranded in a canyon on Sawtelle Mountain in Island Park. Base camp was set up in the Stamp Meadows parking lot on Sawtelle Road. Phone contact was made with the party of two, confirming a fire was built, and the party would stay put until FCS&R arrived. The search that started out to be two stuck individuals quickly turned into eleven individuals. Nine additional members of their party were stuck about 1/2 mile up the same canyon. Poor snow conditions, elevated avalanche danger, and steep terrain hindered the unit?s search efforts. Headlights and a fire were seen across the canyon, but a safe route to them had to be established. Shortly after midnight, all eleven snowmobilers were located and reunited. FCS&R lead the group of eleven out of the canyon, finally arriving at base camp at 1:00 a.m.

Island Park EMS Assist. FCS&R had no more than arrived home and changed their clothes when they were called out for a second time. Shortly after 3:00 a.m., their assistance was needed to help Island Park EMS locate and transport an injured individual involved in a snow machine accident to a waiting ambulance standing by on Highway 20 near Chick Creek Road. After helping the EMS system, the unit was advised that a member of the injured man?s group was unaccounted for. After phone calls were made, it was determined that the gentleman had become lost and stuck in a remote location on his way back to the cabin. Unit members located the snowmobiler and helped him get back to the cabin.

2014-2-4 Snowmobiler stuck near Baker Draw Trail

Tuesday night shortly after 8 p.m., Sr. and Jr. Members of Fremont County Search & Rescue (FCSAR) responded to a report of a snowmobiler broke down on Baker Draw Trail, located south and east of Island Park. Base camp was set up in the Osborne Bridge parking lot. The 47 year old male from Island Park, ID was riding alone when his snowmobile became stuck on the Baker Draw Trail. The air temperature in the area was a chilling 19 degrees below zero or more. When this sub zero temperature is combined with a snowmobile traveling at 45 MPH, the wind chill temperature drops to 55 degrees below zero. Prior to our arrival at Osborne Bridge, two of his acquaintances headed out in an attempt to locate him. After unloading their sleds and dressing for their search, FCSAR split into two teams. One team accompanied by one of the subject?s Island Park friends, followed snowmobile tracks up Baker Draw Trail. The other team followed tracks towards Island Park Boy Scout Camp. The stuck snowmobiler used his satellite phone to send his mother in Florida his lat/long coordinates. She in turn relayed this information to Fremont County Sheriff?s Office Dispatch. These coordinates and his phone number were relayed to the unit commander. Many unsuccessful attempts were made to contact the individual via his satellite phone. Following the Baker Draw Trail and using the GPS coordinates, FCS&R located the Island Park snowmobile rider around 10:30 p.m. near Baker Draw Trail. Phone contact was made with his other two friends that had previously taken off on their own. They were instructed to follow the Baker Draw Trail back to Highway 47 and continue to base camp at Osborne Bridge. For some reason, they went 8 miles up Baker Draw trail toward the area where the stuck individual had been located. Phone contact was made to unit commander, and they informed him they were at the snow marker on Baker Draw Trail, further away from base camp. The second team, despite the chilling sub zero temperatures, traveled to their location to head them in the right direction to base camp. The two riders were located at 12:12 a.m., cold and running low on gas. The search team and the two riders headed toward base camp. Before arriving at base camp, the commander was informed by one of the search members that one of the friend?s snowmobile had run out of gas on Highway 47. Another search team strapped a gas can to a snowmobile and delivered it to the searchers and rider. After fueling up, they arrived at Osborne Bridge parking lot around 1:10 a.m. FCS&R loaded the 4 individual?s sleds into their enclosed trailer. The original subject, three acquaintances, and their sleds were all given a ride back to their cabins because of severe weather conditions and inadequate clothing for current conditions. Search members returned home safely. Fortunately everyone was ok, despite dangerous sub zero temperatures.

2014-2-6 EMS Assist on Black Canyon Trail

Four Fremont County Search & Rescue members responded to the report of a snow shoer on Black Canyon road who was vomiting and wasn't sure he would make out on his own, Thursday afternoon. Island Park Ambulance, their Med Sled, and two deputies also responded. Air Idaho was dispatched and searched the area. Contact was made with the family and it was confirmed the victim had made it to West Yellowstone.

2014-2-13 Snowmobiler stranded West of Centenial Shore

Three snowmobilers West of Centinial Shores, they have cell service and are not in any immediate danger. Two had became stuck and they were able to get one sled unstuck. They were working on the other, but still want SAR to help lead them out and to ensureif they get stuck again, they will be able to make it out. Base camp is at Stamp Meadows Parking lot. 13:33 Headed out on the trail towards stranded individuals. 14:01 arived on scene. 14:47 back at Base camp. 52 will follow them back to the condo and 66 will pick 52 up in a vehicle. Everyone Back to their condo at 15:25. 16:02 all members are headed off the mountain. Las Angelas, San Fernandos, and Island Park.

2014-2-23 Snowmobilers possibly in Odell Creek

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2014-2-28 Stranded Henry's Lake State Park

Around 8:30 p.m. Fremont County?s Search & Rescue and Junior Search & Rescue members responded to the report of three Idaho Falls snowmobilers stranded ata cabin in Henry?s Lake State Park in Island Park. The 49 year old adult male, a 21 year old female, and his 13 year old son were snowmobiling when one of their sleds broke down. A blinding ground blizzard and single digit temperatures forced the three to seek shelter in a cabin at the State Park where there was no power or provisions for heat. The father called 911 to report their situation. FCSAR battled the blowing and drifting snow and set up base camp at Red Rock Parking lot north of Island Park Lodge on Henry?s Lake Flat. A team of searchers headed out from base camp toward the cabin fighting a zero visibility blizzard and single digit temperatures, with the wind chill factor plummeting to roughly 25 degrees below zero. Unable to find their way to the cabin because of blowing and drifting snow, the search team traveled at a crawl via snowmobiles. They stopped frequently to obtain GPS and compass directions radioed to them by the unit commander. Utilizing these GPS coordinates and compass headings, the team arrived at the cabin at 11:05 p.m. At the cabin, FCSAR assessed the three snowmobilers, and they appeared to be in good condition. Hand warmers were given to warm the individuals? hands and feet, and candles were lit to help warm and light the room. FCSAR commander requested two county groomers that happened to be relatively close to the area to assist in the rescue. This request was due to the extremely adverse conditions FCSAR rescuers were exposed to and the fear for their life. Extra gloves, goggles, and other supplies were sent with the groomer. The first groomer, accompanied by a search member, headed toward the cabin at Henry?s Lake State Park. Conditions were such that GPS navigation was necessary for the groomer to reach the cabin. Five individuals crowded into the two person groomer while the search team followed on snowmobile, groomer lights assisting with visibility. Ten minutes after the first groomer arrived at the cabin, groomer two headed toward the cabin to provide additional support. By now, Idaho Department of Transportation had closed Highway 20 from Ashton to the Montana state line due to diminished visibility and numerous slide-offs, including a semi truck and trailer in the oncoming lane. Near the intersection of Hwy 20 and Henry?s Lake State Park, the search team located a Subaru car stuck on the road. The occupants were not prepared nor interested in spending the night in their car. The decision was made by FCSAR to transport the original individuals to their vehicle, dislodge the Subaru, and everyone in vehicles would follow one groomer on US 20 back to base camp. From base camp, the rescued individuals and the freed Subaru followed FCSAR past the roadblock to Ashton where the road was open. Despite reduced visibility and poor road conditions caused from blowing and drifting snow, everyone was able to make it off the mountain and back to their homes in the wee hours of the night instead of waiting for Highway 20 to reopen when the storm ended.