Montana

Jan 2, 2014 1:16 AM by MTN News - Bozeman

Snowmobiler killed in avalanche near Big Sky

BOZEMAN - One man is dead following an avalanche near Big Sky.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said an adult male was buried by the slide and killed while snowmobiling Wednesday in the Portal Creek area.

The man was riding with two other people. Another man was also caught in the avalanche, but sustained only minor injuries.

Members of the Gallatin County Search and Rescue team and other emergency personnel were on scene Wednesday evening. Gootkin said responders plan to fly in to the remote area Thursday to recover the man's body.

The victim's identity has not yet been released as authorities work to notify family members.

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche warning Wednesday morning for the northern Gallatin Range. Forecasters said 7 inches of snow, rain and strong winds in the past 24 hours created dangerous avalanches conditions and the danger is rated as high on all slopes in this area.

In addition, the precipitation fell on snowpack that was already unstable and producing avalanches.

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Gallatin County Search and Rescue and other emergency personnel are on the scene of an avalanche in Portal Creek near Big Sky.

The sheriff's office is not releasing many details at this time, but we're told there are people injured.

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche warning Wednesday morning for the northern Gallatin Range. Forecasters said 7 inches of snow, rain and strong winds in the past 24 hours created dangerous avalanches conditions and the danger is rated as high on all slopes in this area. In addition, the precipitation fell on snowpack that was already unstable and producing avalanches.

We will continue to bring you more information on the condition of the injured and the severity of the avalanche as soon as it becomes available.

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