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Report: Mont. avalanche victim ignored warning - Nation - TheState.com
Two Montana men killed in avalanches near Cooke City last weekend knew the avalanche danger in the area was high, and one didn't heed a warning from two other skiers who had turned back after triggering a snow slide that buried one of them up to their waist, investigators said.
"We see it time and again," said Mark Staples with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. "It's rare that things are subtle. We see the clues, but we choose to ignore them. I've been guilty of it, too."
The report on the death of Dave Gaillard, 44, of Bozeman, said he and his wife, Kerry, had followed the tracks of two other backcountry skiers out of Cooke City on the morning of Dec. 31. About 1.5 miles into their trip, the Gaillards encountered the other skiers who said they turned around at the Wyoming border after triggering a slide on a steep hill.
The Gaillards continued to the end of the other skiers' tracks at the border, where they turned on their avalanche transceivers.
Kerry Corcoran Gaillard told investigators they were nervous because the snow kept collapsing as they skied, the report said. She said they were looking for a place to eat lunch when the avalanche hit at 2:20 p.m., burying her husband.
Kerry Gaillard turned her transceiver to "receive," but the unit's batteries were weak and she was unable to locate him. She went back to Cooke City to report the avalanche at about 5 p.m.
Last edited by lonerider; 01-06-2012 at 04:39 PM.