On Saturday (3/2/13) at about 6:55 PM, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office got a call ab out two overdue snowmobilers.
The last time anyone had spoken to them, was around 4pm that day, when they were walking back to the Buck Ridge Trailhead in the Big Sky area of Gallatin County.
The man said he and his three adult male friends had gone snowmobiling in the Buck Ridge area, when two of their sleds broke down and a third ran out of fuel.
While two of the party rode back to the trailhead to get some equipment, the other two started walking down the trail towards the trailhead. When the reporting party could not find them and had not heard from them, he called the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.
A Gallatin County Deputy, and Big Sky Search & Rescue initiated a search in the Buck Ridge area.
A short time into the search the two missing people were located.
Both were all right and were still hiking out. Big Sky Search and Rescue assisted them by giving them a ride on their snowmobiles the rest of the way out to the trailhead.
Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind everyone that things can change quickly when recreating in the backcountry. So before going into the backcountry, always make sure you have the proper equipment and that it is in good working condition.
Also, on Saturday, March 2 at 9:40 a.m., the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office received a report of a woman who was having a medical emergency on the Rendezvous Ski Trail near West Yellowstone.
Personnel from the West Yellowstone division of Gallatin County Search and Rescue, Hebgen Basin Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service, and the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office responded and assisted with the rescue.
Rescue personnel responded on snowmobiles and when they arrived on scene they found a 59-year-old female from Bozeman who had been watching the annual Rendezvous Ski Race. She was suffering from back pain and was taken by the rescue team to West Yellowstone.
On Sunday, 03-03-13 around 4 PM, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office started getting calls of possible accidents on Lone Mountain Trail in the Big Sky area. Conditions were very bad, including ice, snow and blowing snow.
Unfortunately, this was at a time when people were finishing their skiing and trying to head to their homes.
The large number of vehicles travelling at this time mixed with the ice, caused at least in part, a couple of vehicles to slide off the road, a shuttle bus had difficulty traveling up the road and one vehicle rolled onto its side after going off the roadway.
Traffic was delayed for a couple of hours in both directions, to allow emergency responders to clear the road and take care of any possible injuries.
The only injury in all that occurred was to a driver who stepped out of his vehicle and fell onto the icy road. Due to an injury to his shoulder he was taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for further evaluation.
Other injuries were avoided by people being cautious and patient in their driving. Once the roadway was clear, Department of Transportation plows were able to drop sand on the icy roadway and traffic flowed once again.
Sheriff Gootkin would like to thank those who drove cautiously but also would like everyone to remember that weather conditions in our country can and do change very quickly. So please be aware and ready.