By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Eight snowmobilers were saved this week by Teton County Search and Rescue after becoming lost on Beartooth Pass.
According to the SAR team, it was contacted Thursday morning by Park County to do an aerial search for the group of snowmobilers that were reportedly lost on the pass.
The group hadn’t been seen or heard from since Wednesday and spent the night out in the elements.
Park County’s Search and Rescue team determined the group’s location, about six miles from the nearest trailhead, and requested a helicopter evacuation.
The aircraft loaded up two Teton County SAR volunteers and a ranger from Grand Teton National Park and flew to Cody to refuel. The team then flew to the site and successfully transported all eight snowmobilers to safety.
In the past few weeks, the team has responded to incidents in Fremont, Lincoln, and Park counties, as well as Grand Teton National Park. The team has been called out more this year than all of last season.
“We still have very motivated rescuers who are eager to help out in any way they can,” said Teton County Sheriff Matt Carr. “We have this amazing resource available and if another county needs it, we’re absolutely happy to help out.”
Since the beginning of the year, the team has been called out 31 times — responding to events including five fatalities, three involving avalanches. Of the 31 responses, 24 resulted in active missions, more than during the entire previous winter season.
Three people have died in avalanches in northwestern Wyoming since mid-February, two snowboarders and one snowmobiler.