The Star Valley Search & Rescue has had a busy February, responding to multiple calls for assistance in the last few weeks.
Most recently, late afternoon hours on Saturday, February 25, Search and Rescue was called to the Cabin Creek Area for an injured snowmobiler. Commander Matt McMurdo said the rider, who was from Colorado, was on the Strawberry side of Cabin Creek, which is roughly 33 miles up Greys River from Alpine. The rider hit a hole which caused him to smash into the front of his snowmobile, breaking his hip. Life flight was called in to assist. McMurdo said the chopper was able to reach the injured rider and successfully transport him to a medical facility.
On Monday, February 20, S&R was notified of a snowmobile rider from Colorado who became stranded in the Poker Creek area of the South End. McMurdo said the mad had been riding alone when he was thrown from his sled as it went into a creek bottom. The rider was stranded for two days until he was finally able to hike out of the creek bottom to the top of a mountain, where he had enough cell service to call for help. Search and rescue was able to locate the man and get him to safety. According to McMurdo, the man’s sled remains in the creek bottom and is currently unsafe to recover due to the snow conditions.
On Thursday, February 23, Search and Rescue was called to retrieve a Wisconsin man who had been killed in an avalanche in the Poker Flats area of the south end. The man has been identified as Alex Balestrieri. Lincoln County Sheriff Shane Johnson said Balestrieri had all the necessary avalanche safety equipment, but it was unable to help him in this situation. He was deceased before Search & Rescue arrived.