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Crews suspend search for missing snowmobiler in Logan Canyon

By Morgan Jacobsen | Posted - Dec. 28, 2014 at 10:30 p.m.



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LOGAN — Rescue crews spent the day Sunday looking through fog and snow for an Arizona man who got separated from his friend while they were snowmobiling in Logan Canyon the day before.

Lawrence Orduno, 48, of Arizona, and Courtney Wood, 27, of Logan, began recreating in the Franklin Basin area of the canyon about 6 p.m. Saturday. The two became separated about 10 p.m. after Wood got stuck in deep snow.

Wood is familiar with the area, but Orduno is not. Wood was able to get out and search for Orduno, but was unsuccessful, according to Cache County Sheriff's Lt. Doyle Peck.

About 3 a.m. Sunday, Wood flagged down a motorist in Logan Canyon, saying he needed help, said Cache County Sheriff Lynn Nelson.

The sheriff's office was notified, and search and rescue crews began combing the area early Sunday, though search efforts were hampered by heavy snowfall Sunday.


Go out and enjoy the outdoors but pay attention to what Mother Nature's going to throw at you. If a storm is brewing and coming in, it's best to hold off until another day, or at the very least, go up there with more than just two of you and stay together.

–Cache County Sheriff's Lt. Doyle Peck


Roughly 45 people were involved in the search Sunday afternoon, many of them riding snowmobiles and Snowcats. Rescue crews from Cache, Rich and Box Elder counties were looking on the Utah side of the basin, and crews from Franklin County, Idaho, were looking north of the Utah border, Nelson said.

Search and rescue crews were called off the mountain due to falling snow and darkness about 7 p.m. Sunday. Utah State Parks and Recreation staff members were planning on grooming the trails in the area Sunday night in an effort to help rescue efforts, which were set to resume at 7 a.m. Monday, Peck said.

Peck encouraged recreators to go during daylight hours and to check weather conditions, especially if they are visiting unfamiliar territory.

The lieutenant said deputies had been in contact with family members, who were "very upset (and) worried," but were optimistic of what Monday's continued search efforts could bring.

"We're hopeful that tomorrow morning after they groom the trails that we'll be able to get up there and get into some areas (during) the daylight," he said.

Contributing: Mary Ellen Geist and Kyle Spencer

Morgan Jacobsen

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