Three (3) members of the BSSAR team responded to a mid morning call for an injured snowmobiler in the Buck Ridge area. The team members used snowmobiles to transport the injured party to the trail head and the waiting ambulance.
Eight (8) members of the Big Sky Search and Rescue responded to a call in the Taylor Fork area near Carrot Basin for a missing snowmobiler. Three snowmobilers were riding when one fell behind and stuck his snowmobile in deep snow. The other two snowmobilers called 911 at 5:00 PM. BSSAR sent a Hasty team of three in on snowmobiles and had three others standing by as back-up. The Hasty team was able to locate the missing snowmobiler and transport him back to the trailhead within 2 hours. The missing snowmobiler recognizing that he was stuck and that it was getting dark stayed put and made preparations to make it through the night. The Hssty team indicated that the man's use of a "strobe light" app on his phone made it easier to pin point his location.
Seven (7) members of the BSSAR team contributed at least sixteen man-hours in the rescue of a women involved in a snowmobile accident in the Buck Ridge area. She collided with another snowmobiler suffering injuries to her arm and hip. The location of the accident along with the rapid response by the all volunteer BSSAR team allowed for the victim to be rapidly transported to the trailhead where the Big Sky Fire Department was waiting. The BSSAR team used a one-man hasty team on a snowmobile to get to the patient followed by a two-man team consisting of advanced life support certification to package the patient for transport.
Fourteen members of the Big Sky Search and Rescue team contributed over eighty man hours in planning for and assisting in the recovery of an avalanche victim in the Onion Basin area. On New Years Day three snowmobilers entered the Onion Basin area via Portal Creek. At approximately 2:00 PM they were overtaken by an avalanche. The Gallatin Valley National Forest Avalanche Center conducted an investigation into the fatality and found that the crown was 400 ft. wide; 2 ft. deep; ran for 1,000 ft. slope distance; 500 ft. vertical and had a debris field between 5-8 ft. All three snowmobilers were equipped with beacons, probes and shovels and two were wearing airbag packs that had not been deployed. It took over 30 minutes to extricate the victim and after over 40 minutes of CPR the two survivors decided to ride out for help. BSSAR was paged at 6:00 PM for the rescue and met the two survivors at the Portal Creek trailhead. It was determined that due to the high avalanche danger the body recovery would take place the following day. The BSSAR team determined that the safest and most efficient way to recover the body was to use a helicopter. On January 2nd the BSSAR team staged three back-up teams at the Portal Creek trailhead to assist the helicopter team if needed. The BSSAR teams consisted of two snowmobile teams and a ski team. The mission went as planned with the helicopter team recovering the body; conducting the fatality investigation and handing the body off to the BSSAR ground team.