Posted: Jan 9, 2013 6:50 AM by Laura Wilson - KAJ News
Updated: Jan 9, 2013 10:48 AM
WAST GLACIER - An avalanche left two skiers stranded on Elk Mountain, in the Middle Fork area of Glacier National Park, for hours on Tuesday.
Luckily the winter weather conditions didn't stop crews from reaching the skiers, one of whom was hurt in the ordeal.
The avalanche was triggered just after 4 p.m. on Tuesday while a man was skiing down the mountain. Another man was below the avalanche, when it started, and was able to move away from the snow slide.
"The other gentleman was below him, saw the avalanche and got out of the way. The [other] individual was carried down and was partially buried. His partner had to dig him out," Park spokeswoman Denise Germann explained.
She added that one of the skiers was able to reach someone, who contacted park dispatchers. Rescue crews were able to find the skiers at around 6:30 p.m.
The man who had been partially buried suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital.
It's not known at this time whether they had the proper gear with them, or whether they checked the avalanche advisories before heading out, and Germann says this incident is a good reminder to be prepared any time you recreate in Northwest Montana.
"[With] some of the weather conditions we've had lately, it's really important to check the avalanche advisories. You can do that at flatheadavalanche.org. You should have the appropriate equipment and to know your level of skill, and be prepared for that," Germann said.
She told us that the two men were experienced skiers from the area.