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Search for missing Big Sky man continued for third day

Megan

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Officials and Search and Rescue teams from Gallatin and Madison County continued searching today for Bradley Gardner, 24, a Big Sky resident who has not been seen since Wednesday.

Bradley left the ski resort Wednesday and entered the backcountry solo. Search teams have been working every day since Sunday, and today more than 16 rescuers were in the backcountry South and West of Lone Peak, said Madison county Sheriff Dave Shenk. They have used a helicopter, snowmobiles, dog teams, skiers and snowshoers, and resources from nearby ski patrols and the Forest Service.

Reports about the last seen point are conflicting—one group says Bradley went to the Chippewa area, and another said he’d gone to Cedar—potentially for an extended trip.

The search area is a relatively small zone, but is very complex terrain, with steep drainages and thick timber. “It’s as convoluted an area as Big Sky has,” commented Big Sky SAR member,
Mark Bradford.

The weather the last few days has been damp, and in the 20s and 30s. Tonight is predicted to be wet, with a good chance of precipitation.

A search of similar magnitude occurred in the Lone Peak backcountry five years ago. With that past experience, the teams are well organized and trained for this mission.

– E.S.

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