Monday, January 7, 2008


Three members of the Groen family, shown here, are lost near Chama, N.M. Jason, 36, his wife, Shannon, 31, and daughter, Aspen, 14, at top right, are missing after they went on a snowmobiling trip near the Colorado/New Mexico border with another family. The other three daughters are Tegan, 11; Patyn, 8; and Dacyn, 6. (Photo courtesy of Downey family)

Snowmobilers search resumes
Crested Butte resort ski patrolmen Adam Gerber, left, and Eric Baumm monitor the avalanche risk amid a storm that has dumped large amounts of snow across the high country. In southern Colorado, the snow has kept searchers from looking for two missing families. (Crested Butte Mountain Resort )

Crews and equipment are standing by as a winter storm drops feet of snow on the area.01/07/2008 06:08 AM MSTDeep snow and poor visibility have delayed the search for two families who disappeared during a snowmobile trip.

Photo Credit: © Christian Pondella/Red Bull Photofiles

6 Snowmobilers Missing in Heavy New Mexico Snow
Monday, January 07, 2008
Associated Press

CONEJOS, Colo. — A search team resumed looking Sunday for six snowmobilers from New Mexico last seen on Friday, before a heavy snow storm dumped as much as three or four feet near Cumbres Pass.

Donna Oney of the Colorado State Patrol said 11 search and rescue team members and three deputies were looking for the snowmobilers. A search from the New Mexico side has been suspended due to snowy conditions and bad roads.

The snowmobilers are members of two Farmington, N.M., families. They are Jason Groen, 36, his wife, Shannon, 31, and daughter, Aspen, 14, said Betty Groen, Jason's stepmother. Groen said they were snowmobiling with Mike Martin, one of Groen's employees, and his wife, Missy, and their son, Jessie, 13.

The six were last seen Friday just north of 10,222-foot-high Cumbres Pass near the New Mexico border.

Betty Groen said the families had visited Shannon Groen's parents in Chama, before heading off to snowmobile Friday morning. They were expected back Friday evening, she said.
New Mexico State Police spokesman Peter Olson said Colorado Highway Patrol found the family's pickup and trailer at a snowmobile parking area in Colorado.

The New Mexico search was suspended Sunday morning, but 2 helicopters were standing by in Taos, N.M., and about 20 snowmobiles and Snowcats owned by trained search and rescue volunteers were ready to go in Chama should the weather cooperate, Olson said.

Olson said New Mexico 17 is unplowed and the gate at the Colorado border is closed. On Sunday, there were whiteout conditions with visibility of three feet in the mountains, he said.
"Our biggest concern is for the safety of the searchers and the road to that point is pretty dangerous because of avalanches and other snow conditions," he said.


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