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Two Skiers Survive Avalanche And Overnight Stay At Hyalite

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 by clicking here.  

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.

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