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Kila Man Killed In Avalanche Near Whitefish

Snowmobile
Maropak (CC-BY-SA-3)
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A snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche near Whitefish on Saturday. The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office said the victim was a 33-year-old Geoffrey Richard Caldbeck from Kila.

According to avalanche.org, this is the third person to die in an avalanche this season in Montana, and the second this week.

The Flathead Avalanche Center said three snowmobilers triggered the avalanche near Swede Creek. Two of them were buried in the slide. One was able to free himself, and the other died before the third was able to dig him out.

FAC Avalanche Specialist Erich Peitzsch said weak snowpack from dry weather, rain and new snow has lead to a rise in avalanche danger in the area.

"This [snowpack] layer is reactive in some places and not in others, which makes it particularly tricky and subsequently difficult," Peitzsch said.

The FAC will be hosting a companion rescue course on Saturday. For more information, check out the FAC's website.

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