COOKE CITY, Mont. (AP) – Two Minnesota men died in an avalanche while snowmobiling in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park, where about 3 feet (1 meter) of snow had fallen over the past week, said the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.
A group of eight snowmobilers recreated in the Scotch Bonnet Mountain area north of Cooke City at midday Monday. One man got stranded on the Southeast Slope and another was trying to help clear it when the avalanche occurred, Park County Deputy Sheriff Clay Herbst said on Tuesday.
The avalanche knocked down snow about 5 feet (1.5 meters) deep and about 300 feet (91 meters) wide, burying the two riders, the avalanche center said.
The group had avalanche beacons and rescue equipment, Herbst said. They managed to dig up the men and attempted CPR, but were unable to revive them. The names and hometowns of the victims, aged 39 and 43, were not disclosed.
Due to the constant snowfall in the mountains around Cooke City, the man-made avalanches likely occurred on steep, wind-laden slopes, the avalanche center said in its forecast Monday morning.
The deaths were the fifth and six from avalanches in the United States this month, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Montana has killed two avalanches in the 2020-21 season.
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