Snowmobiler Killed and 3 Partially Buried in Avalanche in Swan Range, MT Saturday

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A snowmobiler was caught and killed by an avalanche in the Swan Range, MT, Saturday.

According to the Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center, a snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche in the Swan Range in Montana on Saturday.

A group was snowmobiling at Wounded Buck Creek in the Swan Range when one of the party triggered the slide. All four were carried and buried, three partially and one fully. The three managed to self-rescue and began searching for the missing person. His pack was visible, but despite digging him out and resuscitation efforts, he did not survive.

Avalanche location. Credit: Flathead Avalanche Center

PRELIMINARY REPORT:

On Saturday, Feb. 6, a snowmobiler triggered an avalanche in Wounded Buck Creek, north of Wildcat Lake. The rider was caught, carried, and buried in the avalanche. The other three members of the party were also caught and partially buried. After extricating themselves, they searched for the buried rider upslope. Part of his pack was visible in the debris, allowing them to locate him and uncover him. Despite resuscitation efforts, the buried rider did not survive.

Bad weather and dangerous avalanche conditions prevented rescuers from reaching the scene that evening. Law enforcement recovered the victim’s body early the next morning via helicopter.

Backcountry avalanche warnings were in effect for the following counties: Flathead, Lake, and Lincoln. The Flathead Avalanche Center recommends that people avoid riding or traveling in avalanche terrain and stay home if they have trouble identifying dangerous terrain.

Very dangerous avalanche conditions exist. For 9 days straight, riders have triggered avalanches large enough to bury, injure and kill a person. Some of these avalanches were large enough to destroy a wood frame house. If you decide to head into the mountains today, enjoy the new powder snow in non-avalanche terrain. If you have a hard time identifying avalanche terrain, it is best to stay home today.

avalanche,
Current forecast (2/8/21). Credit: Flathead Avalanche Center

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