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Two missing snowmobilers found near Sugarloaf Peak in Leavenworth

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Two missing snowmobilers found near Sugarloaf Peak in Leavenworth

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February 20, 2012

(Leavenworth, WA) Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that at 8:00am on Sunday February 19th, Sheriff’s deputies were advised of two overdue snowmobilers in the area of Sugarloaf Peak northeast of Leavenworth, WA.  Robert Donovan, 59, from Auburn and Philip Erickson, 57, of Plain had left the Eagle Creek Sno-Park on Saturday morning for a day ride to French Corral and Miners Ridge.  A brief cellular phone call from one of the subjects to a family member in Auburn confirmed the subjects had become stuck in deep snow off of a groomed trail on Saturday afternoon.  The subjects did not request assistance or notify authorities of their situation until Sunday morning.  Sheriff’s Office search and rescue coordinators activated SAR deputies, USFS personnel and volunteers from the Lake Wenatchee Snowmobile Recreation Club to assist in a search for the two subjects.  By late Sunday morning, Donovan had activated his SPOT locater beacon which gave searchers GPS coordinates on their location.

Rescuers located Donovan and Erickson by 1:30pm north of Sugarloaf Peak in a steep drainage which had somewhat fogged in.  The subjects had not been able to negotiate their snowmobiles up the steep slope to the main trail after becoming stuck in the drainage area. With assistance from rescuers, both subjects made their way back to the main trail and eventually back to the Sno-Park.  Donovan and Erickson were tired, but otherwise in good health when located.  Erickson advised they used heat from the snowmobiles and bows of evergreens as cover to stay warm during the night.

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