It was a long night for Gallatin County Search and Rescue on Thursday after a snowmobiler was reported in extreme backcountry near West Yellowstone.
According to officials, the man was reported lost and stuck on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 5:38 p.m. The caller said the man, a 29-year-old male from Minnesota, was last reported in the Red Canyon area 16 miles northwest of West Yellowstone.
The caller was able to provide a GPS location that showed the terrain to be very steep and heavily wooded. The caller also reported their friend had no overnight survival gear or any type of light source.
The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone responded, with a group of eight rescue personnel responding on snowmobiles to the GPS location provided.
Rescuers made verbal contact with the man approximately four hours after the initial call. Due to the hazardous terrain and deep snow conditions, the rescue teams needed another hour to reach him.
The male was uninjured and rescue personnel was able to load him on one of their snowmobiles and ride him back out to safety. That ride back out took rescue personnel another two hours. His snowmobile is still on the mountain.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind snowmobilers to be careful when recreating off the trail and to know your limitations. Always remember to ride with a partner, stay with your partner, carry a reliable means of communication in case of an emergency, and be prepared to survive the night if needed.