BOZEMAN — Two skiers were rescued, one with injuries, in Gallatin County after being caught in an avalanche on Sunday.
Gallatin County Search & Rescue said in a news release that the sheriff's office was notified at 1:53 p.m. of two skiers who had been caught in the avalanche while ascending the north face of Wilson Peak in Big Sky.
One skier was able to self-extricate immediately. The other skier was swept down the slope, through some trees, and ultimately was able to self-extricate at the bottom of the slide.
However, the skier's injuries prevented them from hiking or skiing out.
The reporting party had a GPS communication device and was able to call for help. Gallatin County Sheriff SAR members from Big Sky and the helicopter team responded to the patient’s location.
They were able to land near the patient, load both into the helicopter, and fly them to a waiting Big Sky Fire Department ambulance.
The patient was then to the Big Sky Medical Center for further evaluation.
Sheriff Dan Springer commended the skiers for having a communication device that allowed them to call for help immediately and be rescued in a timely manner.
Springer says that having a plan and equipment for emergency events when recreating in the backcountry can make the difference between a quick rescue or spending an unexpected night in the mountains.