July 22, 2011 at 15:08
(Big Sky, Mt.) – Gallatin County Search and Rescue workers have recovered the body of a skier missing since March.
According to Madison County Sheriff Dave Schenk, the body of 24 year old Brad Gardner was successfully recovered by searchers this morning in an area on Lone Peak called The Lone Lake Cirque located on the southwest side of the mountain.
“A lot of hard work, much of it performed under hazardous conditions, has resulted in a recovery,” said Sheriff Schenk. “We hope this brings some closure to Brad’s family and to the Big Sky community.”
A 13 member Gallatin County Search crew, including a dog team, located Mr. Bradley’s remains at approximately 9:45 this morning. Sheriff Schenk says the investigation into Mr. Gardner’s death is underway.
“A Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s investigation are being conducted,” said Schenk. “That is standard procedure for any unattended death. Once that work is done, Brad’s body will be turned over to his family.”
The search and recovery was a cooperative effort between Gallatin and Madison County’s including their respective search and rescue groups. The effort included searchers from Bozeman to West Yellowstone, local ski areas, as well as air assets from the Montana Civil Air Patrol, Montana Department of Natural Resources and National Forest Service.
Mr. Gardner was reported missing on March 12th March of this year. He was last seen on March 9th when he told friends that he was going to make a solo ski trip to the Chippewa Ridge area, located adjacent to Lone Mountain.
His disappearance kicked off an extensive seven day search that was unsuccessful. Sheriff Schenk said today that searchers have been in the area frequently since that time, attempting to locate Mr. Gardner’s remains.
“Heavy and deep snow, bad spring weather, along with avalanche danger and rock fall hazard really hampered our efforts,” said Schenk. “But we said we wouldn’t give up and kudos go out to all the volunteers that sacrificed so much of their time and energy. We couldn’t have done it without them.” This search is already being considered as a case study to use in instructing search managers on extended search operations. ####
Photos may be posted at www.gallatinmedia.org as they become available from the scene “Courtesy Gallatin County Search and Rescue”