A snowmobiler had a close call in the Colorado backcountry last week, after he got lost with a nearly-dead cellphone, according to a news release from the Eagle County Sheriff's Office.
"The snowmobiler only had 3% of their cell phone battery left when they were able to utilize the ‘share my location’ function with their friend," the release said.
The friend contacted the Vail Communications Center, and was able to share the snowmobiler's location, information about type of snowmobile that he was using, and where he rented it from. According to the friend, the snowmobiler was “lost in a bad way”.
After confirming that the lost man's vehicle was parked at Vail Pass, a crew from the Summit County Sheriff's Office responded to his last known location by snowmobile. A Flight For Life helicopter was also deployed to the area.
According to the release, rescuers found the man's boot tracks around the same time that he was spotted by the Flight For Life crew.
The man was safely retrieved by the helicopter team, and was brought back to the parking lot, officials said.
"During the interview with the rescued snowmobiler, he revealed that he had not packed enough food or water and was not prepared to self-rescue or navigate the unfamiliar terrain," the sheriff's office reported.
Given these circumstances, the situation could have had a deadly outcome. Be sure to prepare for unexpected situations when entering the Colorado backcountry, even if that means carrying around additional equipment like extra food, water, and layers to keep warm. Take a look at the 10 essentials, outlined by the American Hiking Society, to see other items you should plan on bringing with you.
Carrying an emergency GPS device could have also been a helpful tool in this rescue. If the snowmobiler was carrying one, he could have maintained a line of communication with emergency response teams throughout the rescue.
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Glad the guy didn't have to pay for his bone head mistakes with his life. Great that it worked out OK.
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