HAMILTON, Montana — A 64-year-old Utah man died after being caught in an avalanche while backcountry skiing in western Montana.

ABC reports Park City, Utah resident, David Macfarlane, died Tuesday in the slide near Lost Trail Pass on the Montana-Idaho border. Macfarlane was in a group of five skiers from Utah who were on a steep north-facing slope just west of the Lost Trail Ski Area boundary when he was caught in the avalanche.

The other skiers found Macfarlane, administered first aid and called for rescue. Macfarlane died of his injuries before search and rescue teams arrived.

Our thoughts are with David Macfarlane’s family and friends. Read the preliminary accident report from Missoula Avalanche below.

03/12/2024 – Montana – Near Lost Trail Pass, Bitterroot Mountains

Published 03/13/2024 by Arden Feldman – Lead Forecaster, West Central Montana Avalanche Center

Avalanche Details: 

  • Location: Near Lost Trail Pass, Bitterroot Mountains
    • 45.70362, -113.97861
  • State: Montana
  • Date: 03/12/2024
  • Time: Unknown
  • Summary Description: 1 backcountry skier caught and killed
  • Primary Activity: Backcountry Skier
  • Preliminary Summary: On Tuesday, March 12th, 2024, a group of five people were backcountry skiing northwest of Lost Trail Pass in the Bitterroot Mountains. One of the skiers was caught in a large avalanche on a north aspect at around 8000 ft. Other members of the group were able to locate the victim and begin first aid. They were also able to notify emergency services using a satellite device. The Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office, Ravalli County Search and Rescue, and Two Bear Air from Flathead County responded to the incident. Two Bear Air, with the assistance of Ravalli County Search and Rescue, hoisted the victim from the scene. Unfortunately, the victim had died due to injuries sustained in the avalanche before the helicopter’s arrival. Forecasters from the West Central Montana Avalanche Center visited the accident site on Wednesday, March 13th, 2024. The avalanche was approximately 250 feet wide and 3 feet deep and failed on a buried persistent weak layer.

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