Lone Peak, Montana. photo: tripadvisor.com
The body a Montana backcountry skier was recovered Friday, July 22, 2011, on Lone Peak near Big Sky, MT. 24 year old Brad Gardner was found in Lone Lake Cirque on Lone Peak’s southwest face. Earlier last week, Brad’s father had found Brad’s ski poles and other personal effects in the Lone Lake Cirque area.
Gallatin County Search & Rescue used a Recco receiver, dogs, as well as a 13 man team to find the missing skier.
“A lot of hard work, much of it performed under very steep and hazardous conditions, has resulted in a recovery,” said Madison County Sheriff Dave Schenk. “We hope this brings some closure to Brad’s family and to the Big Sky community.”
Brad was last seen on March 9th, 2011. He’d informed friends that he was headed out on a solo backcountry ski trip to Chippewa Ridge near Lone Peak. He was reported missing on March 12th, 2011. A seven day search for the missing skier came up empty handed and the worst was feared.
“Heavy and deep snow, bad spring weather, along with avalanche danger and rock fall hazard really hampered our (search) efforts,” said Schenk. “But we said we wouldn’t give up and kudos go out to all the volunteers that sacrificed so much of their time and energy. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
Lone Peak, MT during summer. photo: corante.com
Brad was considered an expert skier who had moved to Big Sky about one year before his disappearance. Brad’s father, Dr. Ed Gardner, is confident that his son fell or was avalanched off an adjacent 800-foot cliff that caused his death.
An autopsy will be performed before Brad’s remains are given over to his family.