Four members of the team responded to a mid morning call for an injured mountain biker at the Big Sky Resort. The team was preparing to respond when the Big Sky Bike Patrol informed them that they had responded. The page was cancelled.
Six members of the team responded to a mid afternoon call to transport a man that died from natural causes while hiking with his wife near Hidden Lakes. The members of the team transported the deceased to the trail head and also provided comfort and transportation for the spouse. All members of BSSAR extend their deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased.
Three members of the team provided support for The Rut Mountain Runs which are part of the SkyRunners World Series. Over 1,500 participants race in a 11K, 28K and 50K trail run that takes them to some very remote and treacherous areas. The high point on the run is at Lone Peak Summit at 11,500 feet. The BSSAR team members provided emergency evacuation and basic life support when needed to runners throughout the weekend.
Three members of the team responded to a 20:30 call for a missing hiker. Two men in the early 30s left the North Fork trail head mid morning to hike up Gallatin Peak and back. One of the hikers was less experienced than the other hiker which was the reporting party. The reporting party indicated that they decided to split up and go at their own pace. The last time the reporting party saw his friend was at a trail junction. When the reporting party got back to his car at the trail head he was surprised that his friend was not there. The BSSAR team was in the the process of planning their approach when the missing hiker reached the trail head.
One member of the BSSAR team responded to a 911 call for a medical emergency at Hyalite Lake. The lake is outside of Big Sky's service area and can be reached quicker by the Gallatin Valley SAR. The page was eventually cancelled.
BSSAR was paged to a mountain biker with a leg injury near the Southern Comfort Chair lift at the Big Sky Resort. The page was eventually cancelled as Big Sky Bike Patrol handles injuries in the resorts boundaries.
Nine members of the BSSAR team responded at 14:22 to a call for an injured female hiker. Based upon the report received from 911 dispatch, the team knew they had a 50 plus year old women with an ankle injury. A Hasty Team of two was sent in to quickly reach the patient while the rest of the team brought the Teton litter and other resources to the scene. The women had an unstable ankle injury which was stabilized before she was loaded onto the Teton litter to be carried approximately 2 miles to the waiting Ranger side by side. She was loaded into the Ranger and transported without incidence to the awaiting ambulance.
Ten members of the team responded at 17:55 for a medical emergency at Deer Lake. A 48 year old male had hiked up to the lake with his son to stay the night. He had some pre-existing medical conditions that became aggravated after they set up camp. Seven members of the team hiked the 6 plus miles to the lake and found the man in distress. Due to the terrain, darkness, weather and other ongoing rescues their request for a helicopter evacuation was declined. The Deer Lake trail is very rocky and treacherous in the dark. Evacuating the patient by foot or by litter was not an option. The team provided basic life support care to the patient throughout the night and was thankful when the helicopter finally arrived the next morning. The patient's condition continued to deteriorate through the night however the teams skills, training and commitment kept him alive until he was able to be evacuated to difinitive care. This really show's the quality and caliber of the volunteers that make up BSSAR. The man made a full recovery and he and his family along with the helicopter team had a nice reunion at the Big Sky Search and Rescue headquarters later in the month.
Once again the team found themselves responding to a call for an injured horseback rider on the Buffalo Horn Creek trail. Seven members of the team responded. Based upon the information received by 911 dispatch and the reporting party on scene regarding the nature of the women's injuries a helicopter was immediately dispatched. A BSSAR Hasty team of two on dirt bikes was able to reach the injured party at the same time the helicopter landed. Due to the rugged nature of the terrain the injured party was still some distance from the helicopter. Although not easy, the Hasty Team with the helicopter team and reporting party was able to get the injured women into the helicopter. She was transported to Bozeman where her life threatening injuries were treated and she's expected to recover. She was lucky that the weather allowed the helicopter to reach her quickly which is not always the case. As with any helicopter rescue the BSSAR team was on stand by and working their way to the location to serve as back-up.
Four members of the team responded to a 911 call for an injured ATV rider in the Storm Castle area. The family was riding rented equipment when their son was thrown from the vehicle resulting in a possible leg fracture. The reporting party was not really sure where they were which delayed the response for help. It was finally determined that their location was outside of Big Sky Search and Rescue's operating area and the incident was turned over to the Gallatin County Search and Rescue team.
July 19 was a busy day for the team as many of those involved in helping the injured horseback rider earlier in teh day were back and ready to find a missing hiker that night. Nine members of the team responded at 20:30 for a missing hiker in the Beehive Basin area. A man in his 20s left the Beehive Basin trail head earlier in the day wearing tennis shoes and carrying a water bottle. He called 911 after it became dark and he was disoriented and exhausted. He provided the 911 dispatch with his phones GPS coordinated that once again proved unreliable. Based on what he was telling dispatch about what he could see from his location, the team knew he could not be at the location of his phone's GPS coordinates. Due to the rugged nature of the area that the lost hikers was in, the IC (Incident Command) called in a helicopter to try and locate the hiker and drop a provisions bag. This would allow the hiker to get through the night and not put the BSSAR team and lost hiker at risk. The BSSAR team was prepared to begin their search at first light on the 20th. The helicopter never spotted the hiker as he did not stay in his location and eventually hiked himself out during the night.
Four members of the team responded to a 911 call for an injured horseback rider on the Buffalo Horn Creek trail. The team used the Ranger side by side and dirt bikes to quickly reach the injured party. The team stablized and transported the injured party to the trail head where they refused an ambulance ride to the hospital.
Ten members from the team responded to a early evening call for a missing hiker. The reporting party indicated that her friend was overdue in returning from a hike on the Cedar Loop trail in the Yellowstone Club. The missing female hiker was from southern California and new to the area. The women did not have bear spray or gear to stay the night in the woods. The Big Sky Search and Rescue team approached the area from several directions trying to intercept a lost and/or potentially injured hiker as quickly as possible. Two helicopters were dispatched to assist in the search as GPS coordinates obtained from the missing hikers cell phone did not prove reliable for locating her position. The missing hiker was found uninjured the next day about mid-morning. Interesting to note that a female grizzly bear and her cub were spotted by the helicopter not far from where the women was found. She is lucky that we found her first.
Two members quickly responded to a 911 call for a capsized kayak in the Gallatin River down river from House Rock. The call was quickly cancelled when the owner of the kayak was found uninjured.
Six members of the BSSAR team responded to a call for emergency medical assistance and transportation for a man that hit a tree while riding a snowmobile in the Taylor Fork area. The impact left both the snowmobile and man injured. Due to the nature of the injuries a helicopter was dispatched to rapidly transport the injured party to Bozeman. The BSSAR team loaded the injured party onto their ambulance sled and towed him to the waiting helicopter. Four snowmobiles,an ambulance sled and the side by side were used to provide rapid and safe care to the injured party.
Three members of the BSSAR team responded to a call for a snowmobiler that was lost and stranded next to the groomed trails on Buck Ridge. The team was able to quickly find and transport the person back to the trailhead.
Five members of the BSSAR team provided emergency medical support during the 320 Guest Ranch's annual ski joring event. The fast action event where a skier is towed by a racing horse through a course provides a lot of entertainment for spectators and a lot of potential for injuries. This years event passed without a single injury.
Six members of the BSSAR responded to a late afternoon call to assist two snowmobilers that buried their sleds just off of Buck Ridge near Third Yellow Mule. Two members of BSSAR were able to locate the stranded riders; locate their sleds; assist in freeing the sleds and leading the snowmobilers back to the trailhead without incidence.
Eight members of the BSSAR team responded to a late afternoon call from Big Sky Ski Patrol to assist in locating two skiers that had signed out to ski the North Summit Snowfield and found themselves lost. The skiers were in cell phone communication with ski patrol and did not know where they were and were exhausted. BSSAR was asked to assist in searching for the skiers via snowmobiles in the area west of Lone Peak and outside of the ski patrol boundaries. The skiers were located by ski patrol before dark, uninjured and happy to be done with their adventure.
Two BSSAR team members responded to a late afternoon call to assist the West Yellowstone SAR locate two lost snowmobilers. The West Yellowstone SAR was searching via the Beaver Creek area while BSSAR was asked to come to from the Taylor Fork area. The snowmobilers were found uninjured by the West Yellowstone SAR.