Snowmobiler dies in avalanche near Choteau; snow biker injured in Swan slide

Print Article

A snowmobiler who died in an avalanche Jan. 5 near Choteau was not wearing an avalanche transceiver, according to information in a preliminary report from the Flathead Avalanche Center.

The fatal avalanche occurred in Waldron Creek west of Choteau on the Flathead National Forest. Teton County Sheriff Keith Van Setten identified the victim as 35-year-old Eric S. Greyn, of Choteau.

Greyn was a member of a four-person party of relatives who were snowmobiling 2 miles south of Teton Pass Ski Area.

According to the avalanche center’s report, the snow slide was unintentionally triggered by a snowmobiler in the group, and was large enough to “destroy a car or wood frame house,” the report said.

“Two riders were caught, one was injured and one buried 2 feet deep. Unfortunately, the buried rider was not wearing a beacon and did not survive.”

Searchers found the victim’s body by using poles to probe the snow.

The snowpack failed 1 to 5 feet deep on a weak layer near the ground.

Also on Saturday, a man riding a motorized snow bike was seriously injured after being swept by an avalanche off a cliff at the top of Spring Slide Mountain in the southern Swan Range.

According a preliminary report from the Flathead Avalanche Center, the group of motorized snow bikers was stopped on top of the peak to take pictures and check maps. A large cornice broke beneath one of the riders.

“The cornice subsequently triggered several thick slab avalanches in very steep, rocky and cliffy terrain,” the report stated. “These appear to be persistent slabs.”

The rider fell 200 feet over cliff bands and was carried another 100 feet down the slope and buried. His partners were able to dig him out, but he suffered numerous serious injuries from the fall.

Two Bear Air evacuated the victim and he was recovering from surgery on Sunday.

Avalanche danger was rated as considerable above 5,000 feet across the forecast area on Monday. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential, the avalanche center warned.

Monday’s avalanche reported stated that persistent slab avalanches remain a problem.

“They are a low probability high consequence problem as was unfortunately illustrated with the recent avalanche fatality outside of Choteau.”

Print Article

Read More Local News

Library, county clash over funding new facilities

June 20, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake In a recent letter addressed to the director of ImagineIF Libraries, the Flathead County commissioners said they have no intention of owning any library facilities as county property — a decision tha...

Comments

Read More

Flathead Lake at full pool

June 20, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Energy Keepers Inc., the tribal-owned corporation managing the former Kerr Dam hydroelectric project, reported that Flathead Lake reached full pond on June 13, “just a few days ahead of schedule.” T...

Comments

Read More

Mom accuses son of stealing guns

June 20, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake A Flathead County man is scheduled to appear in court next week on charges he stole guns from his mother and stole two vehicles. Roddy Willis White, 23, is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m., Thurs...

Comments

Read More

Nursing head to lead Montana Children’s

June 19, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Daily Inter Lake Kalispell Regional Medical Center’s Teresa Fisher has traded in her title of chief nursing officer for executive leader over Montana Children’s, according to a press release from the hospital sent la...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2019 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X