Posted: Feb 20, 2013 10:47 AM
Updated: Feb 20, 2013 3:30 PM
BOZEMAN - New details have been released about an avalanche that partially buried and injured a skier in the Bridger Mountains Tuesday afternoon.
At around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, Bridger Bowl contacted the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office to report that a skier was caught and partially buried in an avalanche on the east side of Bridger Peak, about 1/3 of the way down the face, according reports from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center and the sheriff's department.
The 26-year-old Bozeman man had jumped a small cliff band and triggered the slope on landing, according to the GNFAC. He was buried in a standing position and was able to free an arm and create an air space. Two of his partners booted up and dug him out while a third stayed out of the path and acted as an avalanche guard to warn of further slides.
Two off-duty Bridger Bowl ski patrollers and at least one other person were backcountry skiing with the man at the time, the sheriff's department said. They were able to quickly dig him out and assess his conditions, according to the GNFAC. They were also experienced with helicopter operations and were able to secure a landing zone for the air ambulance.
The man suffered a serious leg injury and was flown to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.
Sheriff Brian Gootkin noted that the man is very lucky and that it is remarkable to be in the hospital less than an hour from the time of the call after being caught in an avalanche.
Photos provided by Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center