Missing snowmobilers found, rescuers work to get them to safety

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) UPDATE -- Dec. 27th
The Following is a press release from the Albany County Sheriff's Office

News Release
*UPDATE*

On December 26th search teams from Albany County and Carbon County responded back into the area of Deep Creek and Rock creek drainages to attempt to recover the lost party. The extremely difficult terrain in the area made this task very difficult.

The Albany County search team was able to ride snowmobiles within .54 miles of the lost party. Carbon County teams attempted to get into the area from several different sides but couldn’t make it any closer.

The Albany County team was able to make contact with the lost party via BCA radio and confirmed that they had not moved from where the helicopter had spotted them the day prior. They also advised that they were in good health and physically able to walk out if need be. The Albany County team was able to snow shoe in and make contact with the party.

The Carbon County team and other volunteers from Colorado were able to bring in additional sets of snowshoes and met the Albany County team. The group snow shoed out of the canyon and back to the snowmobiles. All of the groups made it back to the Crater Lake trailhead by nightfall.

The lost party was transported by a snow cat with Albany County back to the green rock parking area, where they were reunited with family and friends. The lost party did not sustain any injuries. The party survived by rationing food, having a fire, melting snow for water and building a shelter from snow, log poles and pine boughs.

On behalf of the Albany County and Carbon County Sheriff’s Offices we want to thank the community and the dozens of volunteers that helped during the search over the Christmas holiday. We also wish to thank the 37th Helicopter Squadron out of F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne for their efforts during the search and ultimately locating the lost party by air.

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On December 25th at approximately 3:00 p.m. the search helicopter located four subjects matching the description of the lost party. Information relayed from the pilots was that all four subjects appeared to be in good health and had a fire. The pilots were able to drop the party some food and water with a note to stay put, help will be on the way.

It was determined that the lost party is located well into Carbon County, in the area of Deep Creek. The terrain in this area was extremely difficult and snowmobile search teams could not reach the party by night fall. Due to deteriorating weather conditions all air support was also grounded. Recovery efforts by Albany and Carbon Counties will continue at first light on December 26.

Albany County will officially transfer command of the search efforts onto Carbon County effective at 6:00 a.m. on December 26.

Any further media inquiries should be made through the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office.

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On December 23, 2018 at approximately 6:00 p.m. our office was notified of possibly overdue or missing snowmobile riders in the snowy range mountains west of Laramie. Information received was that a group of four snowmobilers from South Dakota had been staying at the Albany Lodge and snowmobiling in the area. The group was due to check out of their hotel rooms but never returned to the lodge.

The missing subject’s vehicle was located parked and unoccupied at the Green Rock parking area on Highway 130. It was determined that the subjects were all riding Ski-Doo 850cc snowmobiles. The snowmobiles were described as two black and yellows, one with a custom wrap that is blue and yellow and one that is all black.

The State trail groomers were requested to keep an eye out overnight on the December 23rd while they were working. The United States Air Force was requested to assist with cell phone forensics on all of the missing parties’ cell phones. We made contact with several social media outlets involving snowmobiling in the area and requested assistance from the public who might be riding in the area. The Carbon County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue was notified of the search and requested to check their county in the area.

Albany County activated four snowmobile search teams on the morning of December 24th. The search area is extremely large due to the lack of information on where the missing subject were riding for the day. The search teams checked numerous areas and followed up on a few leads that came in over the day. They suspended snowmobile search efforts for the night at approximately 1700 hours.

The 37th helicopter squadron out of F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne Wyoming will be conducting a night search of the area. The helicopter is equipped with forward looking infrared and the pilots are using NVG goggles.

Search teams in both Albany and Carbon counties will resume efforts in the morning hours of December 25. We ask that if anyone will be riding in the snowy range mountains west of Centennial Wyoming on December 25 to check in with the Albany County Search and Rescue trailer located at the Green Rock parking area prior to departing. There you will be able to receive current information about the search. If the missing subjects are located please contact 911 or make contact with trailer at Green Rock.

We will provide a media update in the afternoon of December 25th.

ORIGINAL POST | Four missing snowmobile riders have been found safe in southern Wyoming.

The Albany County Sheriff's Department says a search helicopter spotted the four men from South Dakota Tuesday afternoon and they all appeared to be in good condition.

The helicopter wasn't able to land in the rugged area of neighboring Carbon County and ground searchers weren't able to reach them by nightfall. The pilots dropped some supplies along with a note telling the men that help was on the way and asking them to remain there.

Deputies have reached the party and are working to get them out of the mountains and back to Laramie.

The sheriff's department was notified that they were missing Sunday after they failed to check out of their lodge in Albany as planned.

The search area was very large because it wasn't known exactly where they planned to go.