Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2006-12-19
Submitted By: GNFAC; Doug Chabot
Place: Scotch Bonnet
State: MT
Country: USA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 1 snowmobiler caught, buried, and killed




Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

Ron Johnson will write a Full Report later in the week.

On Saturday, December 16, 2006 a snowmobiler was caught and killed in an avalanche on a southeast-facing slope of Scotch Bonnet near Cooke City, MT.

A party from North Dakota was highmarking on Scotch Bonnet. The victim ?A? went up, turned to the east and got stuck. A second rider ?B? then went up, turned to the west and also got stuck. A third member of the party ?C? then rode up between the two, saw that ?B? was completely unstuck and ?A? was almost done, so he rode down.

At this time ?A? was the only one on the hill. The rest of the group was at the bottom of the slope. Another rider from another party, ?D?, highmarked to the east of ?A?, turned around and triggered the avalanche. He cut off to the side and was not caught. He did not leave the scene; he helped dig ?A? out.

A woman at the bottom of the slope just saw an avalanche video and learned to look at her watch to record the time of the incident?the time was 1028. Everyone rode out of the runout zone to escape the slide. When it stopped they come back on scene and started a search. They located ?A? with a beacon 100 yards downhill from where he was stuck. They hit him on their very first probe. He was 7 feet deep. Teams dug him out in 18 minutes and began CPR, which they did for 45 minutes.

A groomer was on the road and saw a fresh crown on Scotch Bonnet and promptly called in the slide to SAR. A Hasty team was dispatched to the area and they found CPR in progress. They attempted to use the AED with no luck.

?A? was found face down with his head pointing downhill. His helmet was not on him since he removed it to dig himself out.

His sled was below him buried 8 feet deep.

The slide occurred on a 38 degree, wind-loaded slope. The avalanche danger was rated HIGH on this terrain. The crown was 2 feet deep and slid on an ice layer below the new snow.

Images here:

ARCHIVES have the advisory from that day: