Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2014-11-26
Submitted By: AAA
Place: Cooke City, Henderson Mountain, Daisy Pass Trail Road
State: MT
Country: USA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 1 snowmobiler caught, buried and killed

Very little information about this accident is known at this time. The following is a short press release from the Park County Sheriff's Office:

On November 26, 2014 at about 1331 hours, the Park County Sheriff's Office received a report of an individual partially buried in an avalanche in the Henderson Peak area near Cooke City. The individual, a snowmobilier, was reported as not breathing. Search & Rescue members were dispatched from Cooke City. CPR was performed but life saving measures were not successful. The individual was pronounced dead at the scene. The incident is under investigation. No further information is available at this time.

Skiers and snowmobiliers are asked to use extreme caution due to the recent heavy snowfall.

Undersheriff Scott Hamilton

Comments Early Wednesday morning the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center rated the danger high and issued an Avalanche Warning for their entire advisory area which included the Cooke City area. In the warning the GNFAC also noted, "Very dangerous avalanche conditions exist. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended and avalanche runout zones should be avoided." This morning in the Cooke City area new snow from the previous 24 hours was estimated at 1.5 to 2 feet (based on almost 2 inches of snow water equivalent). Strong westerly winds accompanied the new snow.

Media Report

Posted 11/26 at 1850

Update 11/27 from GNAFC The victim, a 31 year old male from North Dakota, remotely triggered a slide on the southwest side of Henderson Mountain in the Miller Creek drainage. He was a very experienced rider and had been coming to Coke City for the last eight years. The victim remotely triggered the avalanche from a flat are and was buried about five feet deep when the steeper slopes above him released. He and his partner had rescue gear and the partner made a heroic effort to dig him out, uncovering his head in about 20 minutes. CPR was unsuccessful and Cooke City SAR responded within 10 minutes of the call-out and helped evacuate the victim. The avalanche broke on facets at the ground. The crown was 37 degrees steep and broke two to three feet deep, 300 feet wide and 500 feet vertical. Mark Staples was able to do a site investigation late yesterday afternoon and will write a detailed report in the coming days.

Official Report

Posted 11/30 at 1700.