A 50-year-old snowmobiler missing in Cache County was found safe and in good health Tuesday.

The Evanston, Wyo., resident was snowmobiling Monday with his adult son when he got stuck about 2:15 p.m. in Arbs Basin toward the eastern border of the county near Hardware Ranch and separated from his son.

Fortunately for the man, he was in an area that had cell phone reception and he was able to call 911.

The man's son also called police after he couldn't locate his father.

Two search-and-rescue teams arrived in the area about 4 p.m. to rendezvous with the son and begin looking for his father, said Cache County Sheriff's Lt. Matt Bilodeau.

The teams continued searching until 3:30 a.m. Tuesday without success. They were unable to use a helicopter in the search because of high winds and white-out conditions in some areas, Bilodeau said.

The search was to resume at 8 a.m., but just before then the man called again to say he had walked out of the area to a main snowmobile trail. Search crews found him 30 minutes later.

"He didn't need any medical attention," Bilodeau said. "We took him down the Evanston side of the mountain where his family was."

Although this outing had a good ending, Bilodeau said it's a useful reminder for people to be prepared when they go into the backcountry. In fact, he said backcountry recreationists should prepare as if they were planning to spend two or three days in the wilderness.

"A lot of people assume if they have a full tank of gas and a cell phone they'll be OK," he said.

The Evanston man should consider himself exceptionally fortunate that he was in an area with cell phone reception, Bilodeau said. If he had been just one mile west of where he was found, he wouldn't have had any, he said.

"Be smart if you go into the backcountry, because Mother Nature is not forgiving," Bilodeau said.


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