On December 27, 2014, at 4:55 p.m., the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a 911 call from a snowmobiler who was stuck in the deep powder near the cabin creek divide, approximately 14 miles northwest of West Yellowstone. The snowmobiler, a 45 year old male from Steamboat Springs Colorado, reported that he had gotten stuck after breaking a drive belt. While speaking with a deputy, he also reported that only he had minimal survival gear with him.
Personnel from the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office, the West Yellowstone Division of Gallatin County Search and Rescue, and Forest Service responded to assist with the rescue.
With temperatures hovering below zero and darkness closing in quickly, rescuers responded on snowmobiles to the GPS coordinates retrieved from the 911 call. They located the snowmobiler who was able to get a fire going to ward off the frigid temperatures. Rescuers were able to quickly extract the man’s snowmobile and escort him back to his vehicle.
Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind snowmobilers that it is strongly recommended to never snowmobile alone. If you do choose to ride alone, be doubly certain you have your tool kit, safety equipment and survival gear with you. It is also recommended that you have your cell phone fully charged and keep it someplace warm to avoid excessive battery drain. In this case, the GPS coordinates were invaluable at quickly locating the stranded snowmobiler.