On Sunday, February 6, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue responded to reports of an injured snowmobile rider that had been involved in an avalanche.

According to a press release, West Yellowstone Police Dispatch Center received a call regarding the injured snowmobiler at 4:48 p.m. on Sunday. The caller informed dispatch that a snowmobiler has been involved in an avalanche near Dry Fork of Denny Creek, approximately 10 miles west of West Yellowstone.

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The rider was reportedly unresponsive and members of the group performed life-saving efforts such as CPR while waiting for search and rescue crews to arrive.

Volunteers from Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, National Forest Service, Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire Department responded to Denny Creek.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue said in a press release.

A snowmobile rescue team eventually located the injured rider and performed life-saving efforts for over an hour before the rider was pronounced dead. Out of respect for the family, the identity of the victim has not been released.

An investigation into the incident is underway. The investigation is being conducted by Forest Service Law Enforcement and Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.

Snowmobile riding is a popular activity during the winter in Montana, but conditions in the backcountry can vary and become dangerous.

According to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, here are a few precautions to keep in mind.

  • Ride smart, be prepared, and stay in control.
  • Check ice and weather conditions before riding. Dress appropriately.
  • Practice Zero Tolerance with respect to impaired riding.
  • Never travel alone. Let others know where you are going.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victim.

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