2 snowmobilers were killed in 2 separate avalanches in 2-days this weekend in Idaho.
- A snowmobiler died in an avalanche near Sherman Peak, Idaho yesterday, February 20, 2021 at about 11am MT.
- Another snowmobiler died in an avalanche near Smiley Creek, Idaho on Friday, February 19, 2021, at 10:50am MT.
More information about each avalanche fatality in the press releases below.
These were the 23rd & 24th people to die in avalanches in the USA in the past 22-days.
This has been the deadliest avalanche cycle in US recreational history by far.
30 people have died in avalanches in the USA this season.
The USA averages 27 avalanche fatalities per year.
Bear Lake County, ID Sheriff’s Office Press Release on Sherman Peak Avalnache Death:
On 20 February 2021, the Bear Lake County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an avalanche in the area of Sherman Peak. The information received indicated that at least one individual had been trapped by the avalanche and was suspected to be buried. Search and Rescue units from Bear Lake County, Caribou County and Franklin County were activated and responded to the area. It was verified that one individual had been buried in the avalanche field.
Other riders on snowmachines were in the area and began to conduct a search using a search line with snow probes. Searchers were eventually able to locate the victim buried under a large amount of snow. The victim had succumbed to injuries sustained in the slide and was deceased when located. Searchers continued to operate under precarious conditions and were able to retrieve the victim’s body and transport it off the mountain.
The victim was identified as 48 yr. old Allen Foss, of Preston, ID.
The Bear Lake County Sheriff’s Office would like to emphasize that back-country conditions are extremely dangerous at this time. With the recent heavy snowfall and existing snow conditions, avalanche danger is high. Use extreme caution while recreating, do not go alone, and carry emergency/rescue equipment including avalanche beacons.
Sawtooth Avalanche Center Press Release on
Smiley Creek, ID Avalanche Death:
A snowmobiler triggered a very large avalanche while climbing the slope. His track is visible in the photos. He was caught and carried at least 600 vertical feet. The rider had deployed his airbag, was found by his partners on the surface, and was determined to have died due to injuries incurred during the avalanche. The avalanche ran into a well-defined gully that acted as a terrain trap, and debris piled up to an estimated depth of 20-30 feet. A full accident report will be completed in the upcoming days.