Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2002-12-28
Submitted By: Douglas Chabot
State: MT
Country: USA
Summary: 4 seperate snowmobile incidents, one with serious injuries


Last weekend we heard of 5 burials (2 full) in the Cooke City area. We had an Avalanche Warning out since this area got close to 2? SWE. A buried ice crust topped with 3-5 cm of facets was the weak layer responsible for these. Most crowns were in the 3-foot range (+/- 1 foot).


Incident 1:

One 17 yr old rider (victim) got his sled stuck while highmarking a slope. His friend rode up to help him when the slope released completely burying one and only partially burying another (to his waist). They did not have beacons or rescue gear. Other snowmobilers arrived on the scene and one person had a probe and started probing likely spots. Within a few minutes, he hit the victim. It was estimated that he was under for 20 minutes with his head 6 feet deep. He was not breathing, but after three rescue breaths, he regained consciousness. He was uninjured and the luckiest kid on earth that day.

Incident 2:

One rider was caught and buried with his hand sticking out of the snow.


Incident 1:

One rider was caught and buried to his waist, but was able to dig himself out.

Incident 2:

A rider was traversing a 20-degree slope when it avalanched above him. He was not carried far, but the tumbling with his machine seriously injured him. He was wearing a beacon, however he was located under his machine (its unclear if a beacon search was performed). He was unconscious, but breathing after being dug out within a few minutes. The victim was Life-Flighted out of Cooke City.