Rescued Snowmobilers Say Rescue Crews, Being Prepared Saved Their Lives

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

Seven local snowmobilers are recovering after being stranded on the Grand Mesa over the weekend.

Chet Smith is able to relax and smile now, but three days ago it wasn't quite as easy. Saturday night, he and six other snowmobilers were stranded on the Mesa. He says from the get go, however, they were confident they would make it out okay.

"We knew our one friend got out and we figured he'd make phone calls," said Smith. "We knew pretty much everybody would show up."

While they waited for their friend to get help, Smith says he and the others built a fire. But just as important as staying warm, he says, was staying upbeat.

"If you can't keep your head, it can be game over," said Smith.

Smith's nine-year-old son Brady was one of the others trapped with him. He says staying positive wasn't easy.

"I was a little creeped out, until I heard snow mobiles," said Brady Smith.

Search and rescue crews found them at around 10pm, but because of accessibility to the area, they couldn't pull them out for several hours.

"Those guys do a really good job," said Smith. "They really do whatever it takes to get to you."

In addition to the quick response of search and rescue teams, the Smiths say having a plan in place and always carrying the right equipment helped save their lives.

"My dad has a curfew of 8:00," said Brady Smith. "If he doesn't call by 8:00 my mom calls search and rescue."

"It's well worth your time to invest in what you need," said Smith.

Now, they can sit back and tell their friends about their memorable trip to the Mesa.

"The kids at school thought it was pretty cool," said Brady Smith. "They thought I was the toughest nine-year-old in my class."

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