COOKE CITY, Mont. — Two people died in New Year’s Eve avalanches in Montana and Colorado after heavy snow blanketed much of the West.
Meteorologists with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center say two snowmobiles from Washington were heading uphill near Daisy Pass north of Cooke City, Montana, when one of them caused a large slide and was swept about 600 vertical feet.
The buried bicyclist, who was covered in 5 feet of snow, was wearing a backpack with an avalanche airbag, but it was not deployed. Both cyclists, whose names have not been released, had shovels and probes, but neither was carrying an avalanche beacon.
Another group of snowmobiles helped search for the missing cyclist and found his body about an hour later. The avalanche was between 2 and 4 feet deep, 500 feet wide, and 600 feet long. It broke up in weak snow near the bottom of the snowpack.
Also Saturday, a father and his adult son were cross-country skiing near the Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado when they became trapped in an avalanche, according to the Summit County Rescue Group. The father was able to get out by himself, but his son was buried.
A search dog team found her body about two hours later. This name has not been published.
Saturday’s accidents marked the second and third avalanche deaths this winter, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, which tracks deaths nationally.