NATIONAL NEWS

2 snowmobilers killed in separate avalanches in Washington and Idaho

Mar 4, 2024, 9:53 PM

In this Jan. 4, 2013 photo, evidence of sliding snow is seen in steep terrain near a ski area at Sn...

In this Jan. 4, 2013 photo, evidence of sliding snow is seen in steep terrain near a ski area at Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state. Where backcountry safety education once stressed the mechanics of avalanches and snow science, training courses now incorporate a focus on human factors such as how to make better decisions, manage group dynamics and speak up should danger arise. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Two snowmobilers have been killed in separate avalanches in Washington state and in Idaho.

Two snowmobilers riding in the Cascade Mountains west of Yakima, Washington, triggered a slide Friday in a bowl near Darland Mountain, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center. The rider who did not survive was described as fully buried. The rider’s name wasn’t released.

“While we don’t know for sure, this avalanche likely failed on older persistent weak layers in the snowpack,” the organization said, adding that many other areas are dealing with the same problem.

In Idaho, another snowmobiler was killed Friday in an avalanche in the southern Selkirk Mountains in the state’s panhandle region, according to a news release from Boundary County Emergency Management.

A friend riding with the snowmobiler in Idaho was “barely able to outrun the avalanche on his snowmobile,” according to the news release. That snowmobiler went back to search for his friend, who was wearing an avalanche beacon, and found him dead underneath the snow.

Searchers on Saturday recovered the body of snowmobiler Lance J. Gidley, 54, of Sandpoint, Idaho, the Boundary County news release said. Avalanche warnings were in effect for the area at the time.

Ten people have been killed in avalanches this year in the U.S., according to Avalanche.org.

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2 snowmobilers killed in separate avalanches in Washington and Idaho