Gallatin County

Jan 13, 2014 2:31 PM by MTN News

NEW INFORMATION: Missing snowmobilers found alive

UPDATE: The riders have been identified as Tyler Menzel, 31 and Michael Menzel, 32. The two brothers are from Bozeman.


Two Bozeman brothers who spent the night in the Bridger Mountains were returned to the Olson Creek Trailhead by members of Gallatin County Search and Rescue about 11:40 Monday morning.

The brothers were not injured and returned home without medical treatment. Search and Rescue members tell reporter Judy Slate that the two survived the night by digging a pit in the snow, covering it with pine boughs and building several fires.

The two became trapped in the mountains when their snowmobiles broke down. Both machines were left behind by rescuers. Search and Rescue team members say while there is no cell service in the area where the brothers were stranded, they were able to use a cell phone to help rescuers find them. One of the brothers activated an app that turned his phone into a strobe light. A search and rescue team saw the beacon Sunday night, but high winds and blowing snow kept them from reaching the site. However the rescuers marked the location with GPS and returned to complete the rescue on Monday, leaving the trailhead about 7am.

You can see video of the brothers returning to the trailhead. Judy Slate will post the video online when she returns from the Bridger Mountains later today.


UPDATE: Rescue crews have found two men missing since Sunday in Bridger Canyon.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said the brothers were located around 10:30 a.m.

Gootkin did not have any more information on the condition of the men, who spent the night outdoors.

Members of the County Search and Rescue team have been scouring the Olson Creek area east of Bridger Bowl since the snowmobilers were reported missing around 8 pm. Sunday.

BOZEMAN - Members of the Gallatin County Search and Rescue team resumed their search Monday morning for a pair of snowmobilers who were reported missing Sunday evening.

Crews are looking for the two men, each on their own sled, in the Olson Creek area 15 miles south of Bozeman in Bridger Canyon.

The snowmobilers were due back Sunday afternoon and reported missing to the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office around 8:00 p.m.

Search efforts had to be stopped overnight because high winds in the area reduced visibility , making it unsafe for rescue crews. Also, avalanche danger is high in the Bridger Mountains.

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