27-Year-Old Missoula Man Dies in Avalanche - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

27-Year-Old Missoula Man Dies in Avalanche

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The snow strikes again. The Granite County Sheriff says a 27-year-old Missoula Man died after he was buried in an avalanche north of Philipsburg.  Sheriff Scott Dunkerson says Peter Maxwell was skiing in the backcountry yesterday, when the slide occurred. FOX Montana's Emily Foster drove to the area today to learn more.

Granite County Sheriff's officials say the group of skiers were here, in the backcountry of the Flint Creek Mountains just 10 miles north of Philipsburg."

Granite County Sheriff, Scott Dunkerson tells us, "Yesterday at approximately 3 o'clock, the Granite County Sheriff's Department received a call from the International Emergency Response Center of an avalanche beacon activated."

He says the distress call came from Peter Maxwell, who was buried under an avalanche while skiing near Altoona lakes, a popular, but secluded spot for winter recreators.  Dunkerson says shortly after the beacon was activated, his office started receiving 9-1-1 calls from Maxwell's party.

"Those calls were coming in from one of the persons in the party, stating that one person was buried and they were making efforts to retrieve him at that time," says the Sheriff.

Dunkerson says Maxwell's six friends made a heroic effort to rescue their friend, but weren't able to uncover him before he died of asphyxia under the snow.

Experts say avalanche danger is considerable in the west central Montana backcountry after heavy, wet snow, and rain loaded the area over the past two days.

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