Skier Triggered Avalanche Claims Life of Skier Near Cooke City, Montana

Robin Azer | | AvalancheAvalanche

 

Doug Chabot and Eric Knoff of the GNFAC investigate the scene of a fatal avalanche outside Cooke City on 11 December 2016. A skier triggered an avalanche, was caught and fully buried.

The slide was 250′ vertical, 3′ deep and 80-150′ wide. The slope was a terrain trap of trees.

A skier was killed in an avalanche on Henderson Mountain outside Cooke City on Sunday, December 11. The skier was in a party of 5 and his descent was the 7th track on the slope when it avalanched. He was carried into the trees and buried under 5’ of snow. Another person was buried to his waist, uninjured, as he stood in the runout zone. The victim was found with avalanche transceivers and dug up in 15-20 minutes. CPR was initiated, but unsuccessful as trauma was a factor in his death. The slope was only 250 vertical feet, but steep, averaging 40 degrees. The crown was 3’ deep and the path was 150’ wide. The avalanche broke on a layer of weak, sugary facets sitting on an ice crust 1’ above the ground.

Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

The skier has been identified as Christopher Peterson, 55, of Ketchum, Idaho. He was killed after being buried by the skier triggered avalanche on the north slope of Henderson Mountain. He had been skiing with three others at the time and was located via his transceiver, at the base of a tree. Although they diligently attempted to extract him from the snowpack as quickly as possible, it was to prove an impossible task. Sadly, they were unable to resuscitate him with CPR.

Doug Chabot - Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center
Doug Chabot – Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

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