Missing Snowmobilers Found in Sublette County
The Sublette County Sheriff's Office has provided more details on how two missing snowmobilers survived two nights in the backcountry in sub-zero temperatures before being found early Tuesday.
The Sheriff's Office says in a news release that the snowmobilers got stuck in a steep drainage along the south fork of the Hoback on New Year's Day and were unable to ride out.
They siphoned gasoline out of one snowmobile to keep a fire going in a large pit in the snow that they covered with pine boughs to stay warm.
One snowmobiler tried numerous times to ride his snowmobile out of the drainage on Jan. 1 and 2, to no avail.
He kept trying and finally made it out Tuesday morning, riding up the steep drainage. He was found by Tip Top Search and Rescue members.
No injuries were reported by any searchers or snowmobilers. Both of the snowmobilers who'd been stuck refused medical treatment, according to the Sublette County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office emphasizes that things ended well in large part because the snowmobilers were prepared to be in the back country for two nights in sub-zero temperatures.
The names of the snowmobilers are not being released, per the request of the families.
Two snowmobilers were reportedly found safe Tuesday morning nearly two days after they went for what was supposed to be a short ride in the Horse Creek area.
The Sublette County Sheriff's Office says in a news release that a woman called at 8:30 p.m. Sunday to say her husband went snowmobiling with a friend at noon that day and had not returned.
The Sheriff's Office called Tip Top Search and Rescue to begin a search.
Three teams of snowmobilers searched the Horse Creek drainage area through Sunday night into the early hours of Monday morning.
Later Monday, additional members of Tip Top Search and Rescue searched the area again with assistance from outside sources.
A fixed-wing airplane from the Civil Air Patrol and a helicopter from Teton Search and Rescue also joined the search, with Teton Search and Rescue also providing additional manpower.
A total of 26 snowmobilers were assisting in the search Monday, according to Sublette County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Mitchell. Lincoln County Search and Rescue began searching the Lincoln County side of the drainage that night.
The search continued through Monday night into early Tuesday.
Search and rescue operations resumed at 7 a.m. Tuesday with a huge ourpouring of volunteers from the community, which the Sheriff's Office describes as "incredible."
Tip Top Search and Rescue members finally found the missing snowmobilers at 8:45 a.m., with initial reports indicating both snowmobilers are safe.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.