Mesa County snowmobilers found safe |

Mesa County snowmobilers found safe

Grand Junction Free Press Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

MESA COUNTY, Colo. ” Two groups of three snowmobilers were found in good condition Monday morning, including three men who spent the night outdoors in a blizzard on the Uncompahgre Plateau, south of Grand Junction, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department.

The trio on the Uncompahgre were reported missing Sunday night after they did not return home after a day of snowmobiling, according to the sheriff’s office. They were expected home in time for the Super Bowl; authorities received word they were overdue at 11 p.m.

Ten members of the Mesa County Search and Rescue team headed into the Divide Road area on the Uncompahgre Monday at about 5 a.m. and found the missing men at 8:20 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

Escorted to safety were Chet Smith, 35, of Grand Junction, Colo.; Gregory Cole, 38, of Palisade, Colo.; and Bart Sunn, 35, (information about his place of residence was unavailable).

In a separate incident, three snowmobilers who spent the night in a vehicle on Pinon Mesa were also found Monday morning, according to the sheriff’s office.

The three were found by deputies and Mesa County Search and Rescue members at about 8 a.m. Nicholas Burke, 27; Michael Jason, 26; and Bradley Dible, 27, were able to stay warm overnight by running their vehicle.

The men had left a cabin on Pinon Mesa and were headed back to Grand Junction when they encountered an abandoned vehicle in their path, authorities reported. The snowpack and weather conditions weren’t conducive to getting around the vehicle or backing up.

A tow truck was dispatched Monday to get all of the vehicles out of the road.

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