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Mount Blackmore avalanche in Hyalite injures skier

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IMAGE COURTESY OF GCSSAR

EBS STAFF 

Photo of slide on Mount Blackmore’s northern ridge. PHOTO COURTESY OF GCSSAR

Just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday,  March 19, two backcountry skiers triggered an avalanche while ascending the northern ridge of Mount Blackmore in Hyalite Canyon. One skier was able to sprint out of the path of the avalanche, and the other was carried more than 250 feet and sustained a significant leg injury. 

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center reported in a social media post that the slide was 150 feet wide, ran 500 feet vertical and between four and weight feet of debris piled up. 

According to a press release from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, the uninjured skier immediately began a beacon search and found the partner near the bottom of the avalanche path and near the surface. The uninjured skier called Gallatin County 911 and GCSSAR responded along with an American Medical Response ambulance and representatives from Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. 

“Due to the location of the injured person and the severity of the injury, the decision was made to use the GCSSAR heli team to short-haul the patient from the avalanche site to an ambulance waiting at Hyalite Reservoir,” the release stated. 

Central Copters Inc. provided the helicopter, and rescuers used a long line to transport the injured skier to the waiting ambulance, which eventually brought the patient to Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center all while providing follow-on medical care. 

PHOTO COURTESY OF GCSSAR

The helicopter later returned to retrieve the uninjured skier and the rest of the rescue team.

“Sheriff Dan Springer would like to commend the uninjured skier for his quick action and the pair for having the proper beacons and gear while recreating in terrain where avalanche is possible,” the release stated. Springer also thanked GNFAC for evaluating conditions at the avalanche site and ensuring the safety of rescuers. 

“Finally, Sheriff Springer would like to remind backcountry recreationists that cell service in this incident was a matter of luck, and it is advisable to have a means to communicate with emergency services like a satellite phone or GPS texting service,” the release stated. 

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