BOUNTIFUL, Utah, Jan. 19, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Two snowmobilers were found safe by rescuers on Tuesday morning after spending a frigid night near Bountiful Peak.
“Once they got some food in them, they were just really exhausted,” said DeeAnn Servey, Davis County Sheriff Department spokeswoman.
“They felt a lot better. Their condition is good. They are happy to be off the mountain.”
The two friends, ages 23 and 30, are experienced snowmobilers, Servey said. They had extra food and the means to start a fire for warmth. The two, whose names have not been released, had clothing warm enough to keep them fairly comfortable, Servey said.
The men realized they were lost in whiteout conditions, and used a cell phone to summon help at about 5 p.m. Monday, Servey said.
“They couldn’t see. They couldn’t get off the mountain,” she said. “They just couldn’t see even to know what is north, south, east or west.”
The men gave rescuers coordinates, but they weren’t exact, Servey said.
Rescue crews “got within 175 yards, and were hollering and hollering, and nothing,” Servey said. “That’s when they realized this is 1 a.m., and this is not working.”
In addition, one of the 12 rescuers blacked out, probably due to temperatures and the high level of exertion, she said. His fellow rescuers stabilized him and built a fire, Servey said, and they set up camp with a plan to continue in the morning.
LifeFlight circled and found the men Tuesday morning, but a rescuer who lowered himself out of the helicopter found himself up to his chest in snow. Since landing conditions were not safe, the decision was made to send in ground rescuers to the exact coordinates with extra snowshoes, and hike the men out until they could reach a helicopter landing spot.
“They’ve had a long night in the mountain, unsure of whether you’re going to be able to get out or not,” Servey said. “Luckily, our search and rescue came through.”