LIBERTY -- Three snowmobilers from Montana who became stranded in deep snow Thursday night survived by taking refuge in a cabin in the Monte Cristo area, according to the Weber County Sheriff's Office.
The men, who requested that authorities not release their names, were spotted about 7 a.m. Friday by a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter, said Sheriff's Lt. Kevin Burns.
They were uninjured and, with assistance from Weber County Search and Rescue, were transported to a parking lot at the Monte Cristo Complex, where they loaded their gear into a vehicle and drove away, Burns said.
The ordeal began about 9 a.m. Thursday when the trio went to retrieve a snowmobile that had broken down near the La Plata area in the vicinity of Monte Cristo.
However, the three notified a snowmobile rental company Thursday afternoon that they were lost, Burns said.
Employees with the snowmobile company searched unsuccessfully for several hours before notifying Weber County Search and Rescue.
Search and rescue personnel looked for the snowmobilers from about midnight until 3 a.m. Friday before stopping because of blizzard conditions.
"They (search and rescue) said it was the worst they had seen in 10 years," Burns said.
Meanwhile, the lost snowmobilers managed to get inside an empty cabin, where they built a fire and waited to be rescued.
"The cabin owner probably wasn't too happy but under the circumstances was pretty understanding," Burns said.
He advised snowmobilers traveling in the backcountry to be prepared by taking along extra food, water, dry clothing and other survival supplies, including avalanche beacons.