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By JANE RIDER/of the Missoulian
A group of three or four Bitterroot Valley snowmobilers became trapped about 1 p.m., Saturday, in an avalanche near Shadow Lake, a popular snowmobiling area southeast of Hamilton near the Granite and Ravalli county line.
All but one of the snowmobilers managed to dig themselves out, according to initial reports received Saturday afternoon by the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office.
Detective Jim Chinn said a group of nine or 10 snowmobilers from the Philipsburg area came to assist the Bitterroot Valley group in its search for the missing snowmobiler.
After four to five hours of searching, the body of Martin Vincent Litvin, 53, of Corvallis was recovered. Litvin was a retired schoolteacher who is currently employed by the Forest Service. He was president of a Bitterroot snowmobiling club and had taught a class on snow machine safety.