Snowmobiler Dies in Avalanche in Southern Montana

Steven Agar | | AvalancheAvalanche

An avalanche took the life of a snowmobiler on Tuesday in the southern Madison range in southwestern Montana, reports the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.

snowmobiler, buried, avalanche, fatality, montana
The snowmobiler stopped at the top, was swept down and buried at the bottom. Credit: youtube

The avalanche struck in the Mail Cabin Creek area on the western portion of Sage Peak. The group of 6 snowmobilers from Minnesota were aware of the unstable conditions at the time of the accident so decided not to highmark or play on big slopes. They made many correct decisions but were unlucky. One of the riders remotely triggered the slide from below and was buried beneath his sled by three feet of snow and avalanche debris. It took his group 12-15 minutes to dig out the victim but it was already too late.

snowmobiler, buried, avalanche, fatality, montana
The crown was a 2-4 feet deep hard slab and 300 feet wide. Credit: GNFAC

Here’s the official release from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center:

Yesterday there was a snowmobiler avalanche fatality in Cabin Creek on the west side of Sage Peak in the southern Madison Range. Six riders from MN assessed that slopes were dangerous and opted not to highmark, deciding instead to ride the lower flanks. One rider triggered the slope from below and was caught and buried 3 feet deep under his sled. The ski to his sled was sticking out of the snow and his location was confirmed by a beacon search. He was dug up in 12-15 minutes but did not survive. This is a sad and tragic accident and all our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

The victim, who has been identified as Waylon Wiedemann, 40, of Pine City, Minnesota was pronounced dead at the scene.

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