Posted on October 1, 2018 by Michael
We were returning home from spending the weekend in a Forest Service cabin training sled dogs high in the Gravelly mountains of Montana. The cabin was very remote and we had about a 30 mile drive out to the main road ahead of us, with an early-season winter storm forecast to move in that evening.
On our way down we decided to take a new road out of the mountains to scout potential winter dog sled trails. About two miles in our rig slid off the road and we became stranded. Two hours of work yielded no results except the truck becoming more stuck. The road we were on was not frequently traveled, and with the storm moving in the likelihood of someone passing by was infinitesimal. Initially we planned to spend the night and resume work in the morning but the forecast began to worsen, meaning we might be stranded for days.
I am an amateur radio operator and have a mobile radio in the truck but was unable to raise anyone on the local repeater. Unsure if we were just too weak for anyone to hear us we eventually resorted to the beacon. After activation it took about three hours for a Forest Service ranger to arrive, though the coordinates he received were about a mile from our location. Fortunately we were able to later raise another radio operator on the repeater and he was able to relay the correct coordinates to the Forest Service. With his help we were able to get our rig unstuck, turned around, and back to the top of the road, and we returned home safely late, but no worse for wear.
We are incredibly grateful to ACR for getting our call for help out when our other methods of communication had failed. Without the beacon we could have potentially been stranded for days before we were found.
Words of wisdom
I don’t know if I have much in the way of advice, it was a scary experience and we’re grateful that technology and the US Forest Service were there to get us home.
Thank you note
We are incredibly grateful that your company was able to give us a last resort option when all other means of communication had failed. I purchased the beacon never expecting to actually use it but we always carried it. Seeing the white and green flashing LEDs gave us the comfort that someone had heard us and was coming.
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