Deschutes Co. SAR helps 2 snowmobilers to safety near Todd Lake

Courtesy Deschutes Co. SAR

Deschutes County Search and Rescue crews helped two snowmobilers to safety Thursday after the pair got lost in the woods near Todd Lake.

Assistant Search and Rescue Coordinator Dep. Donny Patterson said dispatch got a call around 4 p.m. from a snowmobiler in the area of Moon Mountain southwest of Bend.

Patterson said the 56-year-old Winnemucca, Nevada man was riding with a friend from Bend and the two rode from the Dutchman Sno-Park toward the snowmobile area near Moon Mountain.

Due to the weather, snow conditions, and unfamiliarity of the trail system, the two riders quickly became disoriented and could not get out by themselves, Patterson said.

The two riders rode through the area for about 90 minutes but lost daylight and became more disoriented. 

The winds in the area were strong and blowing snow in all directions, inhibiting their ability to see the trails, Patterson said.

The two men then called 911 for help.

 A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Special Services Deputy assigned to Search and Rescue made initial phone contact with the lost men.

Through phone conversation, it was determined that Search and Rescue resources were needed to safely assist these riders back out of the area, Patterson said.

The two riders remained at the location where they had cell service. 

Patterson said Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) snowmobile team was activated.  

Eight SAR team members responded to the page and two snowmobile teams consisting of 6-SAR members deployed to the Dutchman Sno-Park with snowmobiles from the SAR team office.  

As the two SAR teams arrived in the area (within a couple of hundred yards of the subjects) the poor visibility and current weather conditions made travel in the dark unsafe for a snowmobile rescue, Patterson said.

The SAR teams then deployed onto snowshoes and began to hike further into the area to locate subjects making contact just after 8 p.m.

Patterson said men were well equipped for the weather, uninjured, and in good health.

The two SAR teams then escorted them on their snowmobiles back out of the area to their vehicles at Dutchman Sno-Park.   


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