Beaverhead S&R News

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Sunday Morning at 12:15 a.m., the Beaverhead Search and Rescue was paged out to look for a lost party in the Crystal Park area. A 53 year old gentleman and his 16 year old son had been reported missing from a day trip to Crystal Park. The lost party is from Anaconda. The incident actually started the day before. The reporting party called the Sheriff’s office at 7:52 p.m. Saturday evening and reported the two individuals had not returned home. A Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to the Scenic By-Way from the Grasshopper end of the highway. A Highway Patrol Trooper was also dispatched from the Wise River end. Searches at either end of the byway did not produce the lost individuals or their vehicle.

The Dillon deputy found car tracks going around the road closure barrier just below Elkhorn Hot Springs. Upon further investigation the deputy, while following the tracks, became stuck in a snow bank. After digging for two hours and finally getting some help from one of the Grasshopper Volunteer Firemen, he got out and returned to Dillon. At that time the Beaverhead Search and Rescue was called out to aid in the search. Tara Remely, Alex Dunn, Lawrence Morrisroe, and Mel Rice responded to the call out. Rice acted as the IC while Dunn, Remely, and Morrisroe were deployed to the Scenic By-Way with a side by side and snowmobile.

The side by side and sled ventured up the By-Way behind the closure gate. The side x side had been stuck twice and was about 300 yards short of the Price Creek Campground. They had found nothing. At that point the sled went on into Crystal Park and over to Moose Park. Nothing was located and it was determined the Nisson car the party was driving would not have been able to make it that far. There were no tracks from a car in the area. It was also determined a car of that nature would not have been able to advance beyond the road closure barrier on the Wise River end of the By-Way… Therefore, the S&R members terminated the search in the area and returned to Dillon, arriving back in town at 6:10 a.m. At this point the Sheriff’s office called individuals in Anaconda and was informed the individuals were home. Approximately 36 man hours were spent during the search.

Overdue hunters

The Beaverhead Search and Rescue was called out for two overdue hunters on September 23. The incident started when 4 hunters from Wisconsin separated into two parties and one of the parties did not return to the vehicle at the designated time. They were hunting in the Crystal Park area on the Scenic Byway. When two individuals had not returned after a certain length of time, the two that had returned called the Sheriff’s office and reported two of their party missing. S&R search managers received the page at 4:15 PM , while the general membership was called out at 4:47 PM.

Hasty teams were deployed to Crystal Park, where the party of 4’s vehicle was located. A fixed wing aircraft was deployed to the search area as well. At approximately 6:15, the two missing individuals were located by the aircraft walking across Harrison Park, northwest of Crystal Park. A search ground team got to the individuals shortly after the plane spotted them; the two asked the S&R members whom they were looking for. They were informed that they were the missing party being searched for and they responded by saying we’re not lost. We’ve just been out hunting. The whole incident happened because of lack of communication or understanding between all 4 members of the party.

Search and Rescue members participating in the incident: Clint Rouse, Cody Schnee, Dan Cahill, Dusty Crowe, Graden Greenslade, Jason Ericksen,

Julia Clark, Lawrence Morrisroe, Sam Peterson, Shane Puyear, Steve Mock, Trent Cottom, and Tyler Gover. Thanks to all the members who were able to show up and help on the search. There were many man hours spent on an incident that wasn’t necessary had all the concerned parties fully communicated before separating for the days hunt. Please make sure when you venture out to the hills:

• Let someone know where you are heading and if that changes let someone know the alternative plan.

• Have a specific time that you are to meet back as a party but don’t panic if the individual(s) are a little bit overdue. Maybe they just got something and it is taking a while to get out.

• Be prepared for all of the different weather conditions that you may encounter in a 24 hour period.

• Have the necessary equipment in case you do get caught out after dark and may have to spend the night.

It is finally looking like we might be moving into some inclement weather. Conditions can change in a hurry. Take care out there and be prepared. “In The Business of Saving Lives” your Beaverhead Search and Rescue.