A snowmobiler died in an avalanche in the Cooke City, Montana area at about 1:30pm yesterday, November 26th, 2014. The exact location was on the southwest side of Henderson Mountain in the Miller Creek drainage.
The avalanche was triggered by the victim on a 37º slope, was 3-feet deep, 300-feet wide, and slide 500-vertical-feet downslope. The avalanche slide on a facet layer at the ground.
The victim was a 31-year-old from North Dakota. The victim and his partner both were carry avalanche equipment. The victim was buried over 5-deep in the avalanche debris. His partner made an impressive effort and had the victim’s head out of the snow in 20-minutes. CPR was performed on the victim without result.
Search and Rescue was also notified by the partner and they were able to respond within 10-minutes.
Gallating National Forest Avalanche Center Report:
I am saddened to report that a snowmobiler died in an avalanche outside Cooke City yesterday. The victim, a 31 year old male from North Dakota, remotely triggered a slide on the southwest side of Henderson Mountain in the Miller Creek drainage.
He was a very experienced rider and had been coming to Coke City for the last eight years. The victim remotely triggered the avalanche from a flat are and was buried about five feet deep when the steeper slopes above him released.
He and his partner had rescue gear and the partner made a heroic effort to dig him out, uncovering his head in about 20 minutes. CPR was unsuccessful and Cooke City SAR responded within 10 minutes of the call-out and helped evacuate the victim. The avalanche broke on facets at the ground. The crown was 37 degrees steep and broke two to three feet deep, 300 feet wide and 500 feet vertical. Mark Staples was able to do a site investigation late yesterday afternoon and will write a detailed report in the coming days.
NOAA & the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche center have issued an Avalanche Warning today:
The following message is transmitted at the request of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche center.
Issued on November 27 2014 at 04:37 am Avalanche Warning the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center is continuing a backcountry Avalanche Warning for our entire advisory area. Heavy snowfall and high winds created widespread instability. Natural and Human triggered slides are likely on all slopes. The avalanche danger is rated high in the Bridger, Gallatin and Madison ranges, the Lionhead area outside West Yellowstone and mountains around Cooke City. Very Dangerous Avalanche conditions exist. Travel in Avalanche terrain is not recommended and Avalanche Runout zones should be avoided.
Go to www.mtavalanche.com/current for current Avalanche information.