Snowmobilers lost in fog hunker down for night in frigid wilderness, Utah officials say

Photo from Iron County Search and Rescue

Two snowmobilers hunkered down for a night in the frigid wilderness after they got lost in dense fog, Utah rescuers said.

The pair were snowmobiling the Yankee Meadow area in the evening of Monday, Feb. 6, when the fog set in, making it “impossible for them to follow their tracks back to their vehicle,” Iron County Search and Rescue said on Facebook.

They called family “before their cellphone batteries died” to tell them what happened, who in turn called for help, rescuers said.

The pair, who “had flashlights, food, water, fire starters and a space blanket,” were ready to “spend the evening in the wilderness,” according to rescuers.

They took cover beneath trees to block them from wind and rain, rescuers said.

They also collected gas from their snowmobile to use as fuel to help start a fire by cutting “the top of a water bottle” and tipping “the snowmobile on its side,” rescuers said.

After the Iron County Sheriff’s Office received a call about the lost snowmobilers at about 12 a.m., deputies found the pair’s truck and trailer, rescuers said.

The rescue group’s snowmobile team then searched an area near Panguitch Lake based on the GPS coordinates from a “cellphone ping before their phones died,” according to the Facebook post.

However, the pair were not found, rescuers said. The lost snowmobilers were instead about 3 1/2 miles away.

Shortly before 3 a.m., they used flashlights to get rescuers’ attention, according to the Facebook post.

The pair, who were “in good health,” followed the rescue team on their snowmobiles back to their truck, rescuers said.

Rescuers urged the importance of telling others your whereabouts and when to expect you home before venturing out.

“Had these individuals not had cell phone coverage to notify someone of their situation, there could have been a different outcome,” rescuers said.

Yankee Meadows is about 30 miles northeast of Cedar City in southwest Utah.

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