(Gallatin County, Mont.) On August 13, 2014 at approximately 3:37 PM Gallatin County Dispatch was contacted about a possible Search and Rescue event in the Hyalite area. Three local teenage males had been hiking in the Blackmore Mountain area, had gone off trail and were now unsure of how to return to their vehicle. The teens were uninjured, but were approximately 10-12 miles from the trailhead in an area that is difficult to navigate. The boys were worried that they might encounter technical terrain and did not know how to safely get back to civilization. The boys had been in phone contact with their parents and with members of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue until a lightning storm rolled in and they had to move to lower, less exposed ground and lost cell service.
As rescuers responded to the area planning to hike into where the teens were located a local helicopter service, Rocky Mountain Rotors, became available to use and was able to fly into the area with members of Search and Rescue on board. The helicopter team was able to quickly locate the stranded teens. All three of the teens were brought out of the backcountry by helicopter to a landing zone near the Hyalite Dam. The boys were a little wet but were in good health and uninjured. The boy’s parents were contacted and advised that the boys were out and safe and were driving themselves home.
Sheriff Gootkin stated that it was lucky the boys were able to make contact by cell phone when they became unsure. They also very wisely called for help and stayed where they were instead of trying to find their own way out and possibly becoming truly lost or injured. They were correct in being worried about running into technical terrain. ####