This past Saturday, a resident of Bozeman, MT was caught and killed in an avalanche near Bridger Bowl on a mountain known as Saddle Peak.
The victim has since been identified by authorities as 39 year-old Anthony Saracelli. Saracelli was riding by himself at the time of the slide. According to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center report, he was buried slightly beneath the snow with one hand visible for nearly an hour.
The area in which the avalanche occurred had seen significant wind loading over the past week which fell on a precarious ice crust.
A skier at Bridger Bowl witnesses the slide and promptly alerted ski patrol to the situation. By the time rescue personnel reached the victim, he was unresponsive and resuscitation efforts ultimately proved futile.
*Our deepest condolences go out to the victim’s friends and family.
Avalanche Fatality | GNFAC
On Saturday, April 14th at approximately 10:30 a.m., a solo skier exited the south boundary of Bridger Bowl Ski Resort and hiked to the summit of Saddle Peak (elevation 9,100 feet). Around 10:50 a.m., the skier dropped off the summit of Saddle Peak and triggered the avalanche. They were caught and carried 1,500 vertical feet down a steep and narrow avalanche path. The victim was buried with their hand sticking out of the snow.
At the time of the slide, a skier riding Slushman’s Chairlift at Bridger Bowl Ski Resort witnessed the skier trigger and get caught in the avalanche. The witness was unsure if the skier escaped the avalanche, but informed ski patrol at the top of the lift. Members of ski patrol called Gallatin County Search and Rescue to inform them of the incident and mobilized for a search.
Approximately one hour later, members of the Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol located the buried victim. CPR was performed, but resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. The skier was wearing an avalanche beacon, but had no partner. The avalanche is classified as SS-AS-R3-D2-I
Find the original report here: Avalanche Fatality [GNFAC]