2 Powell Brothers Survive Avalanche - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

2 Powell Brothers Survive Avalanche

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A Powell teen is buried alive in a monster avalanche and lives to tell the story.  His brother found him, and dug him out, even as another avalanche threatened.  Penny Preston had a chance to speak with both of them after this horrific incident.

Matt and Mike Walsh are lucky to be alive.  Their father, Mike,  is the pastor of a church in Powell.  The two teens, like their father, credit God with their survival.  17 year old Matt was buried in a huge avalanche in the foothills near their home.

The brothers said they drove about three miles from Polecat Bench, just west of Powell on back roads to get to the place where the accident happened. They were going to snowboard down a slope.  They usually go together, but this time, Matt went first.

"The whole mountain just started popping, and it took me down to the bottom of the hill and I was still on top, and I thought that maybe, maybe I was going to sit on top of the whole thing.  But then, the snow from behind hit me and everything went dark," says Matt.

Matt's older brother, Mike scrambled to the top of the hill as the slab broke under him.

Mike tells us, "When I got back, I unstrapped my board and looked down and there was still a cloud of snow and I couldn't see anything, so I started yelling for him and yelling for him."

The brothers say the slide was 200 yards wide, and 100 yards from top to bottom.  The snow was five feet deep. Mike ran down the slope to try to find his buried brother.

"I was just yelling for him and yelling for him and when I stopped at one point, I heard, 'Mike, I'm fine.'"

Mike dug furiously to get  Matt out from under three feet of snow above his head.  They climbed back up the icy hill at nightfall.  Two days later, Mike broke his collarbone in a snowboarding accident in Red Lodge.

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