(West Yellowstone, Mont.) On February 14, 2016 at 4:49 p.m., the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a call from a snowmobiler reporting that she had become separated from her boyfriend and thought he may be lost. The snowmobiler reported that her boyfriend was on Lionshead somewhere. Shortly thereafter, Fremont County dispatch in Idaho received a 911 call from the lost snowmobiler, a 25 year old from Billings Montana, reporting that his snowmobile was stuck and he had no idea where he was.
Personnel from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, and the West Yellowstone Division of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded.
The GPS coordinates retrieved from the man’s 911 call were incorrect indicating that the snowmobiler was on Sawtell Mountain in Idaho. Fremont County Search and Rescue was notified and had a rescue team enroute. Meanwhile a Team from Gallatin County Search and Rescue proceeded to the location given to Deputies by the snowmobiler’s girlfriend. As the rescue team proceeded into the area to begin their search, they located the lost snowmobiler and were able to extract his snowmobile and escort him safely back to West Yellowstone. The snowmobiler was exhausted from hours of digging but otherwise in good health.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind snowmobilers to stay with their group and have a pre-arranged rendezvous location picked out should anyone become separated. An emergency pack including an avalanche beacon, poles, shovel and emergency supplies are a must when venturing into the backcountry. A simple mistake can quickly turn dangerous if you are unprepared.