A snow bike rider died after triggering an avalanche on Miller Mountain in the Sheep Creek drainage north of Cooke City, MT, at 5 pm on Saturday.
The rider was caught, strained through cliffs, and partially buried with a hand and airbag visible, according to a post from the Friends Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.
We are sad to report that today, February 19th, around 5 p.m. a snow bike rider (motorized) triggered and was killed in…
The identity of the person who died has not yet been released. No further details are currently available, and the incident is being investigated.
Late Saturday afternoon, February 19, a group of 3 snowmobilers and 2 snowbikers were in the Sheep Creek drainage north of Cooke City. The two snowbikers were high on the slope when one stopped on a small ridge while the other climbed higher and triggered a large avalanche. The avalanche carried him down through a gully and over a cliff where he was partially buried near the toe of the debris. His arm and airbag were visible and his head was 1 foot under the surface. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and the victim was evacuated by Park County SAR. The avalanche was 800 feet wide, averaged 2 feet deep (estimated) and ran 1200 feet vertical. The avalanche likely broke on facets and depth hoar at the ground in an area that was thinly covered and recently wind-loaded. The debris was up to 15 feet deep and the avalanche size is rated R3-D3. A full report with details will be released in the coming days.
This was the fourth avalanche-related death in recent weeks in Montana and the tenth in the US this winter.
Two snowmobilers died in an avalanche north of Cooke City on December 27, and a snowmobiler was killed after being caught by an avalanche west of West Yellowstone on Sunday, February 6.