Increased Education Efforts Meant There Were No Avalanche Fatalities in Cooke City Area, MT for 3rd Consecutive Year

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Cooke City, avalanche, Montana
A natural slab avalanche in Cooke City. Credit: GNFAC

For a third consecutive winter season there were no avalanche fatalities in the Cooke City area, maybe in large part due to the extra efforts of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center and Montana State Parks to educate snowmobilers, skiers and snowboarders in the region about avalanche danger, reports the Sun Times.

This winter there have been 25 avalanche fatalities in the United States and 12 in Canada.

In southwest Montana specifically, there were 63 avalanche incidents reported to the center that were split between skiers/snowboarders (27), motorized users (31) and ice climbers (5). These incidents resulted in seven people being caught, four partially buried, one fully buried and two killed: a skier in the Tobacco Root Mountains and a skier in the Bridger Range.

Cooke City, avalanche, Montana
Learn stability tests and snowpit basics, as well as rescue skills and route finding, during a field day. Credit: J. Norlander | GNFAC

In addition to the weekly Cooke City training sessions, the center and its friends’ group taught 129 classes reaching more than 3,200 people. Many of these were snowmobilers (761) and children under 18 years old (689), two target audiences.

The most active weekend for avalanches was Jan. 26 and 27 with 23 reported avalanches.

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One thought on “Increased Education Efforts Meant There Were No Avalanche Fatalities in Cooke City Area, MT for 3rd Consecutive Year

  1. I wish that was the case here in Colorado. With a growing population and an increase in the backcountry winter time travel the avalanche deaths are on the up swing. One area that gravely concerns me is Loveland Pass and the Seven Sisters Avalanche Chutes. Dangerous and deadly. So many people have perished in this region and people skill flock there like moths to a night time lamp.
    Many great people are doing all they can to educate the public concerning avalanche awareness. We need more in order to save lives.

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