Snowmobilers rescued from Southeast Idaho backcountry

Two snowmobilers were retrieved from a snowy and dangerous situation Monday evening.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office was notified at 5:40 p.m. Monday that two snowmobilers were missing and that they were stuck somewhere near Copenhagen Basin, which is between Preston and Montpelier in Southeast Idaho.

The Franklin County Search and Rescue unit was activated, as was the Bear Lake County Search and Rescue. It was unclear whether the exact location of the snowmobilers was in Franklin County or Bear Lake County.

Air Idaho Rescue out of Soda Springs was also called. With the coordinates given, they were able to fly in and pick up one of the separated snowmobilers.

“The other was stuck in a harder-to-get-to location, but the Franklin County Search and Rescue unit was able to make their way to the other one and get him out safely also,” Franklin County Sheriff Dave Fryar said.

Earlier in the day, avalanche warnings had been issued by the Utah Avalanche Center because of the heavy wet snow that had piled up from the weekend storm onto layers of light, dry snow.

“Avalanche danger was very high and caution was used to not cause any problems with that,” Fryar said.

Snowmobiler riders Bradley Reese of Smithfield, Utah, and Landon Carter, of Preston, were returned safely.

Avalanche danger is still considerable, according to the UAC. Avalanches in the higher elevations can be triggered from a distance, states a UAC forecast.

A free snowmobile-based avalanche awareness presentation and companion rescue clinic has been set for Friday at the Robinson Building in Preston at 6 p.m.

A field class will follow Saturday at 9 a.m. at Copenhagen Basin parking lot.

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