Castlegar snowmobilers run out of gas, get lost in mountains

Friend finally finds vehicle after six hours

Two Castlegar snowmobilers were reported missing Saturday evening after an afternoon ride turned into a long, cold night.

The 40- and 48-year-old men were sledding just off of Mackie Creek Road, 15 kilometres west of Castlegar, when one of the machines ran out of gas. The other rider decided to rocket back to his truck to get more fuel but got lost in the process.

Nearly six hours later, at about 9:30 p.m., the man found his vehicle, where he met police.

Although cold, he was unharmed and joined Castlegar Search and Rescue in the effort to find his friend.

The temperature dropped to -13 C and searchers were about to abandon the effort until the next day, when the man was located on the mountain at 2:10 a.m.

“Both men are fortunate to have been found this evening, as temperatures were very chilly and search efforts were nearing completion for the evening,” said RCMP Cpl. Deb Postnikoff.

The RCMP remind snowmobilers to ensure they are well prepared with emergency supplies, adequate fuel, food and water, a GPS and charged cellphone and that they inform someone of exact starting points and expected time of return.