(Bozeman, Mont.) On Saturday night February 09, 2013, at 10:35PM, The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting two overdue backcountry skiers. The skiers had planned on skiing the Blackmore Trail near Hyalite Dam and told a sister to expect them back in the evening. When they had not returned by 10:00 the sister called the Sheriff’s Office. Approximately 30 Search and Rescue Volunteers responded to the call. The snow fall and wind overnight in the area prevented searchers from doing a complete search last night but a full scale search was started at 5:30AM. The skiers were located around 8:30AM as they were making their way down the mountain.
The 2 male skiers, one from Big Timber and one from Idaho reported that they triggered an avalanche and one was swept down a couple hundred vertical feet. During the slide the skier lost a ski and was not able to descend the mountain due to the weather conditions. The skiers attempted to build a fire but were not able to and spent the night sheltered behind a rock. They began their descent at day break. The avalanche report can be found at http://www.mtavalanche.com.
Sheriff Gootkin stated the skiers did several things right like letting someone know where they were going and what time they expected to be back. Also they went with a partner which is often the single most important survival skill. Map courtesy Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office########