Routt County SAR Rescue

Routt County SAR Conducts Successful Non-Injury Rescue Near Rabbit Ears Pass

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO – In the late hours of Thursday, December 28, 2023, the Routt County Search and Rescue (RCSAR) team successfully executed a non-injury rescue operation near the Elmo Mountain benchmark on Rabbit Ears Pass. The team, comprised entirely of volunteers, responded promptly to a distress call from a group of snowmobilers who found themselves in a precarious situation.

Despite the lack of injuries, the incident serves as a critical reminder of the unpredictability of outdoor adventures, especially in winter conditions. According to the RCSAR Facebook post, the snowmobilers were well-prepared, which significantly aided their rescue. Their readiness included carrying essential gear such as a satellite messenger, an FRS radio for two-way communication, ample food, water, extra warm layers, fire starters, and a saw.

Additionally, the group had informed someone of their plans and promptly contacted emergency services via 911 and an InReach device’s SOS feature when they realized they were in trouble. Their ability to maintain a fire for warmth and their positive mental attitude were pivotal in ensuring their safety until the RCSAR team reached them.

Lessons Learned and Safety Tips

This incident highlights several key lessons for outdoor enthusiasts:

  1. Preparation is Vital: Always carry the 10 Essentials and be prepared for unexpected changes in weather or plans.
  2. Communication is Key: Inform someone about your trip itinerary and carry devices for emergency communication.
  3. Mental Strength Matters: A positive attitude can be a significant factor in survival and effective self-rescue efforts.
  4. Safety Gear is Essential: Essentials like extra food, water, warm clothing, and fire-starting tools can be life-saving.

Supporting Search and Rescue Efforts

RCSAR’s successful operation underscores the importance of volunteer search and rescue teams. As a non-profit organization, RCSAR does not charge for its services, relying on community support to continue their vital work. The public is encouraged to support these heroic efforts by purchasing a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (COSAR) Card. The funds from COSAR Card sales go directly to reimbursing teams for costs incurred in rescue operations.

By purchasing a COSAR Card, you not only show your support for the brave volunteers who stand ready to assist adventurers in distress but also contribute to the safety and well-being of the outdoor community. Click here to learn more or buy a COSAR Card.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

Enjoy this Article? Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Join 4,000+ other subscribers and receive mountain news updates, route guides, gear reviews, and other articles in our twice-monthly email newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

Learn more about how we protect public lands and prevent SAR calls through education & advocacy.

Join 5K Subscribers!

Get the latest mountain news, hear about training opportunities and gear discounts, receive new resources, and learn to advocate for public lands as a Next Summit Newsletter subscriber.

Don't Miss the Latest Mountain News!

Receive an email update every other Sunday with news on the mountains of the west: rescues, wildlife, 14ers, and more.

Your privacy is important to us: We keep our subscribers’ data 100% secure.

14er Planner

Get my Free Colorado 14ers Planner!

Become a subscriber and download my spreadsheet planner with all 58 peaks listed in the best order to climb them.

We keep your data secure; Unsubscribe anytime at the bottom of our emails.

14er Planner

Download my Colorado 14ers Planner for Your Next Summit!

Become a newsletter subscriber and get my free spreadsheet planner with all 58 peaks in the perfect order to climb them.

We keep your data secure; Unsubscribe anytime at the bottom of our emails.