Search and Rescue Work from the Weekend


(Gallatin County, Mont.) Sheriff’s Search and Rescue had a pair of relatively simple rescues over the weekend both with good outcomes.

On Saturday, June 29, 2013, Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was called to assist two hikers who were caught in a heavy rainstorm while hiking Ross Peak in the Bridger Mountains North of Bozeman.  The hikers contacted search and rescue personnel after a strong storm cell moved through the area, soaked their clothing and dropped temperatures.  Using GPS coordinates provided by the hikers, search and rescue crews were able to guide them to the fastest route out of the mountains by phone.  Ground crews met them on the trail and assisted them to the trailhead where they were re-warmed and transported to waiting family members.  Sheriff Gootkin reminds hikers that hypothermia is to be taken very seriously.  Decreases in body temperature can have detrimental effects on mental abilities and lead to more serious problems.  “This is a case where we were able to make a phone call and help guide these folks in the best direction.  Not all SAR responses involve helicopters, dogs and lots of people” he said.  Extra clothes and being prepared for the weather are always smart ideas for people headed to the mountains.

On Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 12:43 p. m. Sheriff’s Search & Rescue responded to the Hyalite area.  A 30 year-old Illinois man was injured after falling approximately 30 feet during a hike of Palisades Falls.  His hiking companions provided immediate assistance and ultimately a campground host was notified.  The host flagged down a passing motorist on Hyalite Canyon Road and then returned to the scene to assist.  The motorist was able to alert authorities by cell phone as he exited out of Hyalite Canyon.  Rae Sourdough firefighters, Search and Rescue volunteers, and members of American Medical Response responded.  Upon arrival at the trailhead, emergency personnel discovered the man had already been brought down the trail.  He was stabilized and transported to Bozeman for medical treatment of his injuries, which did not appear to be life-threatening.

Sheriff Gootkin reminds hikers that even a short and simple hike can turn into an adventure. Always be prepared with food & water, appropriate clothing, a GPS or compass and a first aid kit.  Extreme caution should always be used around cliff areas, especially if there is snow or water present. Completing a first aid course is always a good idea, as is hiking with companions when in the backcountry.

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