Albino Lake Injured Hunter Rescue
On October 22, 2022, at 10:40 A.M., Gallatin County Dispatch received a call from the Garmin International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC), who had received an SOS from a satellite communication device. After communicating with the device owner, it was determined a hunter had broken their leg while navigating rough terrain near the Albino Lake Trail in Big Sky.
Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue Big Sky Section, Valley Section, and a Big Sky Fire Department responded to assist with the call. SAR Big Sky and Valley ground teams deployed on foot to the patient with ropes and a one wheeled litter. Another SAR Big Sky team deployed from the Eldridge Trailhead on a four-wheel drive side by side. Teams faced difficult terrain and harsh weather while attempting the backcountry rescue in snowy and icy conditions.
It took volunteers several hours to locate, assess, and evacuate the patient. Once ground teams arrived at the patient’s location, they stabilized the injury and created a plan to evacuate the hunter by one wheeled litter, and then onto the side by side for transport back to the trailhead. The hunter was then transported several miles down the trail to the Big Sky Fire Department Ambulance and ultimately transported to Bozeman Health for further evaluation.
Sheriff Dan Springer would like to commend the hunting party for being prepared with not only a satellite communication device, but for being adequately dressed for the changing weather and long day in the elements.
Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.