Search continues for missing Flathead skier, name released - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Search continues for missing Flathead skier, name released

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KALISPELL - The search continues for a missing skier in the Flathead Valley.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry has identified the skier as Dr. Jonathan Scott Torgerson, 62, from Columbia Falls.

Torgerson is a long-practicing area physician.

Sheriff Curry says that at around 7:15 p.m. on Saturday authorities received a report of an overdue backcountry skier who was reported to have been skiing alone in the Flower Point area of Whitefish Mountain Resort. 

The information provided indicated that the skier intended to ski out of bounds to the northeast of the ski area boundary. A search was started on Saturday evening by members of North Valley and Flathead Search and Rescue units.

A weekend winter storm hampered search efforts and the search was suspended for a few hours before resuming on Sunday morning with both area search and rescue organizations and the local avalanche center participating in the ground search. 

High winds and reduced visibility continued to hamper search efforts, and the Two Bear Air Rescue helicopter was able to join the search efforts until visibility deteriorated. 

The search resumed Monday morning with volunteers from Flathead and North Valley Search and Rescue and Nordic Ski Patrol. Numerous other volunteers offered their services and joined the search.

Over 30 ground searchers are involved in Monday’s search. As the weather conditions had improved, the Two Bear Air Rescue helicopter resumed searching.

"We have got probably around 20-25 skiers and searchers on the ground in addition of course to the search in the air. There is a chance the missing man may have had an avalanche beacon on so we're coordinating that from the air," Sheriff Curry explained Monday.

"We have the ability to locate and find those beacons not just from the ground but from the air as well. There's a chance he made have had a transceiver....to locate and find those beacons," he added.

Sheriff Curry also wants to thank all of the volunteers who are putting in countless hours in the ongoing search. 

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