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A teen snowmobiler survived a three-day blizzard ordeal in a snow cave in the mountains of Wyoming but his mom died, authorities said Tuesday.
The woman, her husband and 18-year-old son became stranded in the Snowy Mountain Range on Saturday, Albany County Undersheriff Robert J. DeBree said in a statement. Rescue efforts were thwarted by blizzards.
The unidentified victim and her husband, both aged 46, and their son were west of the Green Rock parking area off Highway 130 in southern Wyoming when one of the three snowmobiles became inoperable.
“Due to high winds and ground blizzards the family prepared for the night by building a snow cave and starting a fire,” he said.
After hearing another snowmobile in the area, the father set off on one of the family’s remaining machines in order to seek help.
“After a period of time the snowmobile the father was operating became submerged in a body of water,” DeBree said. “The father then took the last remaining snowmobile in an attempt to find help when his handlebars broke, rendering his snowmobile useless.”
The man built another snow cave for himself and spent Sunday night there before he was located Monday by search teams. He was found in a good condition, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
Further searches of the area were postponed because of poor conditions, DeBree said.
The son was found at about 8 a.m. local time (10 a.m. ET) Tuesday when rescue teams determined that his mother had died.
The teen was taken away on a Snow-Cat and airlifted to the nearby Ivinson Memorial Hospital, west of Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was later transported to a Colorado hospital for further care.