2016-12-17 2 Stranded Snowmobilers up Snow Creek Butte Trail
Around 3:40 P.M. Saturday afternoon, Fremont County Sheriff’s Dispatch informed the Search & Rescue Commander about two stranded Snowmobilers stuck East of Ashton. An 18-year-old Rexburg man and a 20-year-old Rigby man managed to get both of their snowmobiles stuck along the Snow Creek Butte Trail. The stranded snowmobilers called 911, and the call routed to Teton County Sheriff’s Dispatch. Teton Dispatch was unable to pull a location from the call due to the phone or phone carrier limitations. The snowmobilers said they would continue walking back towards Fish Creek Road. Teton County coordinated with Fremont County, and Fremont County Search & Rescue responded to Fish Creek Road to set up base camp. Two search teams were organized and split up searching different areas, one taking the upper part of Snow Creek Butte Trail and the other the lower part of the trail. A third team assembled and staged at base camp ready to investigate additional areas the first two teams consider necessary to search, or help, if needed, when one of the teams locate the individuals. At 6:25 P.M., the upper trail team located the snowmobilers near Tear Drop Lake. After a short observation, the gentlemen appeared to be in good condition and were given a ride back to Warm River where their vehicle was parked.
This was Fremont County Search & Rescue’s 1st snowmobile search/rescue this season. Please remember to be prepared to spend the night, especially if you are only planning to be out a few hours. Tell someone where you plan on riding and when you plan to return. Ensure your cell phone is fully charged as phones discharge quickly when they are roaming. Mother Nature can turn on you in a blink of an eye. Make sure you and everyone in your riding party have all necessary safety equipment required for the type of terrain you are riding in and have the proper training and a working knowledge of how to use their equipment. You may be responsible for saving your buddy’s life or they may be responsible for saving yours. If you are riding the hills or mountains, ALWAYS check the Avalanche Danger for the day and check several times during the day.
2016-12-19 Stranded Snowmobilers East of Keg Springs Trail
Around 6:00 P.M., Fremont Sheriff’s Dispatch informed Fremont County Search and Rescue commander of three snowmobilers stranded east of Keg Springs Trail west of Island Park. One of their snowmobiles had sustained a broken A-Arm, broken bogie wheels, and may be having issues with the turbo. Dispatch received their location from the 911 call, but steep terrain, thick brush, and numerous deadfalls made snowmobile travel extremely difficult in searcher's attempts to reach them. Three different search teams on snowmobiles and one search team on snowshoes were utilized to find the three North Dakota men in their late teens. The teams were slowly working their way towards the coordinates when they could smell smoke from a fire. At 1:36 A.M., one of the snowmobile teams made voice contact and 26 minutes later Search & Rescue were with the individuals. When the gentlemen were asked if they wanted our snowcat brought in to give them a warm ride out, they turned down the ride. With one sled disabled, the only other way out was for one person to snowshoe out with the snowshoe team. The other two snowmobilers were able to ride their sleds out with the snowmobile search team. Close to 3:00 A.M., all search teams and victims had regrouped and headed back to base camp at the Keg Springs parking lot. Everyone, including the stranded snowmobilers, cleared base camp at 3:37 A.M. and headed back home or to where they were staying.
2016-12-22 6 Stranded Snowmobilers in Thirsty Creek
At 1:50 A.M., Thursday morning Fremont County Sheriff’s dispatch contacted Fremont County Search & Rescue Commander with information regarding 6 stranded snowmobilers stuck and low on fuel in Thirsty Creek, East of Mack’s Inn, in Island Park, Idaho. Three adults and three older teens had dropped down into the drainage and were trying to find their way out of the bottom. The steep, uneven, rocky, terrain strewn with brush, saplings, and trees proved to be more of a challenge than their hand saw could handle. When the deputy and the 1st search member showed up on the scene, the subjects informed them they had a fire and indicated they would be okay to spend the night. At 4:00 A.M., the commander decided to regroup and have a small team start at daybreak and work their way up from the bottom of Thirsty Creek to retrieve the snowmobile party. Shortly after 8:00 A.M., the team was on their way. After a treacherous hour and a half cutting trees and inching their way up the drainage, the search team came to a spot where they were unable to safely go any farther. The team regrouped and decided to ride in from the top of the drainage. It was tough navigating down the canyon, but the snowmobilers were located around 11:40 A.M. Sleds running low on fuel were refueled. The next challenge they faced before heading to the trail leading out was getting everyone to the other side of a spring 30 feet wide and 10 inches deep. Everyone was back at base camp at 12:37 P.M., tired, but other than that in good condition. The rescued individuals became stranded around 6:00 P.M. Wednesday evening and were undoubtedly happy to get back to their cabin.