A Busy Tuesday for Sheriff’s Search and Rescue

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(Gallatin County, Mont.) Tuesday at 12:54 P.M., the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a 58-year-old male injured in a fall from a horse on Buffalo Horn Creek Trail South of Big Sky. The rider was with others on a guided horseback tour. The guide was equipped with a satellite phone enabling them to call for assistance from search and rescue.  The party was 1.5 miles up Buffalo Horn Creek Trail when the patient fell, hurting the left side of his hip. Members of the Gallatin County Big Sky Search & Rescue and Big Sky Fire/Ambulance were dispatched. 

The horseback group did have water and some other equipment to aid the patient during the wait until Search & Rescue could arrive. Rescuers from Gallatin County Search & Rescue at Big Sky were able to provide needed aid and safely transport the injured man out to the trail head where he was reunited with family.

At 8:22 p.m., County Dispatch received a 911 call from a lost hiker, a 22-year-old male from Oklahoma. Coordinates retrieved from the 911 call indicated that the hiker was near the head of Beehive Basin in the area of Spanish Lakes. Although he was uninjured, the hiker had become disoriented, had no survival gear, had minimal clothing and his cellphone battery was extremely low.

Rescuers from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, the Big Sky Division of Gallatin County Search and Rescue, and a Helicopter from Carish Helicopters responded.

After searching the area surrounding the gps coordinates, the helicopter was unable to locate the lost hiker because he kept going after making the 911 call.   A short while later, the hiker was located by security personnel on Jack Creek road, tired and thirsty but otherwise uninjured.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind hikers that even a short trip can quickly turn dangerous if you are unprepared. Make sure you have proper survival gear, clothing, food and water.

At 11:15 P.M.  the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team responded to Bridger Ridge for a back country rescue. Three women were hiking from Flathead Pass to the “M” Trailhead via Bridger Ridge. They began hiking around 6am.  At approximately 8pm, when they were in the vicinity of Bridger Bowl, one of the party began to feel nauseous and started vomiting.  Shortly after 11pm, the hikers called for help.

Gallatin County Search and Rescue HAM radio operators, Posse, and RAT team members staged at the “M” trailhead and hiked up the trail where they met the hikers. EMTs assessed the patient and the sick hiker was transported down to the trailhead in a one-wheeled litter.

The hiking party was well prepared for their hike and had ample food and water as well as headlamps for travel after dark. Yesterday’s high temperatures and the exposed rugged terrain of the ridge were major factors in the hiker becoming ill.

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