Cross-country skier rescued on Rabbit Ears Pass as storm intensified | SummitDaily.com

Cross-country skier rescued on Rabbit Ears Pass as storm intensified

Matt Stensland Steamboat Today

A Steamboat Ski Patrol member clears snow Wednesday from the Powder Cam.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With the weather worsening, Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers were called to help a cross-country skier who found himself in trouble Wednesday afternoon.

The 54-year-old man from Texas called 911 shortly after 1 p.m. from Rabbit Ears Pass while a winter weather advisory was in effect.

Search and Rescue member Kristia Check-Hill said the man told 911 dispatchers that he had taken a "little tumble," got wet and could not get his skis back on. The man was also getting tired.

The man was not prepared for the winter conditions. His jeans and cotton shirt were soaked, Check-Hill said.

Because the man called 911, dispatchers were able to determine he was calling from near the top of West Summit Loop B.

Check-Hill said she was unable to reach the man over the phone after he initially called 911.

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With snow continuing to fall and with deteriorating conditions, four Search and Rescue volunteers used snowmobiles to reach the man.

"I just wanted to get to him and get him out," Check-Hill said.

The mission ended at about 4 p.m.

By 5 p.m. Wednesday, about 5 inches of snow had fallen at the summit of Steamboat Ski Area.

The National Weather Service's winter weather advisory was set to expire at midnight Wednesday night, but more snow was expected in the coming days.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.