BIG SKY – A backcountry skier was injured on Sunday after triggering an avalanche on Wilson Peak. Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue responded to the incident and evacuated the injured skier and her partner after Gallatin County 911 received a report around 2 p.m.
The injured skier was caught in the slide and swept through trees, according to Gallatin County dispatch. The injured skier couldn’t hike or ski out, so the reporting partner, who wasn’t caught in the avalanche, called for help with a GPS communication device. A helicopter was dispatched and the Big Sky Section of Search and Rescue stood by in case helicopter extraction wasn’t possible.
The avalanche broke between 6 and 12 inches deep, approximately 100 feet wide and traveled 300 feet down the slope, according to a statement from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.
The injured skier, a 24-year-old female, was safely evacuated from the incident site via helicopter then transported by ambulance to Big Sky Medical Center for a potential leg injury. The other skier was uninjured.
“Having a plan and equipment for emergency events when recreating in the backcountry can make the difference between a quick rescue or spending an unexpected night in the mountains,” the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office said in an April 4 press release.