Search & Rescue Press Release
Incident Reported: Missing Hunter snowmobiler
Incident Number: C1203088 Date / Time: 3-5-2012
Location: Darland Mountain
Contact person: Sgt. George Town Phone: 574-2535
Shortly after 10 P.M. Sunday night the Yakima County Search & Rescue recieved notification of an over due snowmobiler. The first stage of the search started immediately were it was determined the subject vehicle was still parked at the Ahtanum Sno-Park west of Tampico.
Once it was confirmed the subject was still up on the mountain, the Search & Rescue “Snowmobile rescue” Team was dispatched. The information on the missing subject and his son sounded familiar? After further inquires we determined this was the same subject we looked for last weekend on Chinook Pass. Last time the subject (New snowmobiler) went by himself from Bumping Lk to Granite Lk on his snowmobile. Near the top he had mechanical problems and ended up walking out. Fortunately that time it was only an 8 mile hike out.
This Sunday he took his 16 year old son with him. This was the son’s first time out, dad's now 4th time on a snowmobile. They left their survival gear behind as “they were just going to be on the trail.” The days ride took them to the “Super bowl” near the top of Darland Mountain, and before they knew it they were in the bowl. As they attempted to ride out, dad’s machine died “again.” Now they were stuck in the bowl with only the son’s smaller machine. There was no way the two of them could ride out of the bowl on the one machine.
The 2 hunkered down as night fall came. They set up in the bottom of the bowl in the trees where they made a “snow cave.” As the Search Team now working towards the top of the Mt was near the bowl it was3 AM and visibility was somewhere between 10-20 feet. The subjects were not spotted due to the conditions and their concealment.
As daylight broke a Search base camp was set up at the Ahtanum Sno-Park. Additional resources were requested from State Emergency Operations Center. Snow teams came from Kittitas County & Seattle, as well as local volunteers.
The two subjects were located near “Tree Phones area.” The subjects had hiked out where the teams located them. They were in good condition.
Father and son are from the Yakima area, names withheld at request
The “Dad promised” there would NOT be a third time.
We assisted him with information and how he can connect up with other experienced riders so he won’t have more of these incidents in the future.
He was very thankful to all the SAR volunteers.
Sgt .George Town
Search & Rescue Coordinator