Two skiers avoid spending a cold night on Rabbit Ears Pass by dialing 911 in early evening |

Two skiers avoid spending a cold night on Rabbit Ears Pass by dialing 911 in early evening

Eleanor C. Hasenbeck / Steamboat Pilot

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS —  Two cross-country skiers on Rabbit Ears Pass made the right call on Saturday by dialing 911 when they became tired and unsure if they were still on the trail.

Two local men in their mid- to late-twenties called for help around 5:19 p.m. Saturday when they became unsure that they were still on the trail after skiing Loop 1B on Rabbit Ears Pass, said Search and Rescue Incident Commander Kristia Check-Hill.

“At some point, they were getting tired and not sure if they were still on the trail, so they did the right thing and they called 911,” Check-Hill said.

From their cellphone call, Search and Rescue was able to get a good “ping” of where they were, at the farthest end of the loop.

At A Glance

Routt County Search and Rescue President Jay Bowman advises that adventurers always bring these 10 items on backcountry excursions:

• Navigation: map, compass and GPS system
• Sun protection: sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
• Insulation: Jacket, hat, gloves, rain shell and thermal underwear
• Illumination: flashlight, lanterns and headlamp
• First-aid supplies: first-aid kit
• Fire: matches, lighter and fire starters
• Repair kit and tools: duct tape, knife, screwdriver and scissors
• Nutrition: food
• Hydration: water and water-treatment supplies
• Emergency shelter: tent, space blanket, tarp and bivouac

“Since it wasn’t super cold, but it was snowing up there, and they were not prepared to spend the night, they just wanted some assistance to help them get back to their vehicle, which was parked up there at the West Summit,” Check-Hill added.

“Knowing where they were at was huge,” Check-Hill said.

A team of four volunteers headed into the field on snowshoes at about 5:45 p.m. They met up with the skiers around 10 p.m., and the entire party was back to their vehicles, unharmed, at about 1 a.m.

Routt County Search and Rescue’s services are always free. Rescuers recommend carrying a well-charged cellphone into the backcountry and dialing 911 to reach Search and Rescue as soon as you believe you are lost or in need of rescue.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.

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