November 28, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

HAINES A woman whose snowmobile broke down Wednesday morning was stranded above Anthony Lakes until late afternoon because blizzard conditions kept rescuers from leaving La Grande.

Eventually, a Snow Cat owned by the Anthony Lakes Mountain Ski Resort reached the woman, Cathy Nowak, a contract worker for the U.S. Forest Service. Union County Undersheriff Dana Wright said the Cat operator repaired Nowaks snowmobile and she drove out to Anthony Lakes.

Shes fine, Wright said.

Gary Koegler of Union County Search and Rescue said about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday that rescuers had been trying for several hours to get to Pilcher Creek to stage a rescue.

This is not a search, its a rescue, Koegler said. We know where she is; weve been in contact with her by cell phone. Shes built a fire; shes OK

Nowak, a member of the search and rescue team, was doing research along Forest Service Road 43, when her snowmobile broke down.

Koegler said he first heard about the womans dilemma about 10:15 a.m. Wednesday. Anthony Lakes was also hit by high winds and blowing snow.