CSAC Avalanche Incident

Madison Range, Montana - January 18, 1998

[Official Reports] [Media Reports] [Other Sources]

Official Reports

From the GNF Avalanche Center

To say the least, last Sunday was a bad day for avalanches in our area. The accidents followed a familiar pattern for those of us who try to keep people out of avalanches...a nice, sunny day with an unstable snowpack.

On Sage Peak in the southern Madison Range south of Carrot Basin, another avalanche released. This slide was large - the fracture line length was estimated at about 3/4 of a mile. This slide caught one rider in a gully who did not have any avalanche rescue gear. Another group of riders nearby did have rescue gear and went to the scene and began to search with their probes. They did a great job of locating the victim's snowmachine in about 15 minutes under about 2 ft of snow and finding the victim under about 4 to 5 ft of snow in approximately 45 minutes. Unfortunately, efforts to revive the victim using CPR were unsuccessful.

Media Reports

Other Sources

AP report: Cooke City, Montana, January 20

A fourth person died Sunday in an avalanche in the Madison Range, located northwest of Yellowstone Park. Ron Johnson of the Gallatin avalanche center said the man, whose name was not immediately released, was buried in the slide and did not have an emergency locator beacon.

Johnson said the man's partner saw the slide coming and took refuge behind a tree, suriving the slide. But it took him and other snowmobilers 45 minutes to find the buried man. He was dead.