(West Yellowstone, Mont) At 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 26, 2020, a 25-year-old man and a 28-year-old man got their snowmobiles stuck in the backcountry on the Big Sky trail system about 16 miles northwest of West Yellowstone. They had been traveling with a group of seven other snowmobilers who remained at the end of the groomed trail. The lost men were unsure of their exact location and did not have gear to survive the night; they had no light source, no way to make a fire, no cell phones, and no emergency beacons. They did have a walkie-talkie and were communicating with their friends.
Emergency responders met up with the friends and used their walkie-talkies to establish communications with the lost men, who had left their snowmobiles and were hiking. They were advised to return to their sleds so that they could use the lights on the snowmobiles to provide a light source for rescuers.
SAR volunteers were able to locate the lost snowmobilers down a steep embankment. Two volunteers were able to ride to the men and advised all other SAR members to remain at the top of the hill. After a long effort, the SAR members were able to get the snowmobiles unstuck from the snow and trees. All parties then rode back up the hill to the rest of the SAR team. SAR members then escorted everyone off the mountain and back to the trailhead, roughly 5½ hours after the men were initially stuck. No one was injured.