HEBER CITY — Two snowmobilers missing in the mountains of Wasatch County since Sunday were found alive early Tuesday night.
"Just glad to be back," said rescued snowmobiler Craig D'Allessandro. "Very glad."
A Life Flight helicopter pilot flying low spotted Brock Besner, 27, and D'Allessandro, 24, waving outside a makeshift shelter in a cluster of pines and aspens just before 6 p.m., said Jess Gomez, a spokesman for Intermountain Healthcare.
"We just came over the ridge to start our grid and I actually spotted them and they were standing there,' said Gary Maxfield of Wasatch County search and rescue.
After finding the men Life Flight went back to search headquarters to lighten their load before returning and picking them up in good condition, Maxfield said.
"They are alive and they have been found, which is wonderful news," Gomez said. "They're very fortunate to be spotted."
It was an emotional reunion for Besner when he stepped off the Life Flight helicopter and into the arms of his wife.
After hugging her son, D'Allessandro's mother jokingly told him there were many at the command center who may now want to "kick his butt" for all they had been through to find him.
After assuring his family he was fine, Besner was put in an ambulance to be checked over at a hospital.
His brother, Heath Besner said he was "really worried" and was expecting a different outcome.
"I was actually almost positive that we weren't going to be pulling them off the mountain tonight," Heath said. "But wishes and prayers came true tonight."
A second Life Flight helicopter arrived shortly after, bringing D'Allessandro back to the command center at the trailhead.
The men became stranded after running out of gas, said Christian Benzon, a friend of both men.
Wasatch County Sheriff Todd Bonner said the men were far from where search and rescue had focused their search. The Life Flight pilot believed he had found them when he spotted two snowmobiles matching the description of Besner and D'Allessandro's machines.
The two men had created a makeshift shelter with a fire to help them survive while stranded.
"Craig stinks," Benzon said "Smells like campfire. They look great."
Besner and D'Allessandro went snowmobiling in the Lake Creek area east of Heber. It's an area where the two have reportedly been many times.
Crews had temporarily suspended the search overnight Monday due to bad weather conditions but hope renewed Tuesday when the clouds parted and the sun came up.
Searchers and family members returned to the Lake Creek Trailhead Tuesday morning, where the men's truck was found Sunday.
Besner's mother Jaynee Besner flew to Utah Monday to be here for the search.
"Our prayers have been answered with both of them healthy," she said. "We are just so excited."
An estimated 1,000 miles were searched.
Searchers were concentrating on areas with slopes Tuesday and basins at the bottoms of slopes. Search and rescue crews from Wasatch and Summit counties assisted in Tuesday's effort as well as a helicopter from the Utah Department of Public Safety.
Besner is married with a young son. D'Allesandro is from New Jersey.
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