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Two snowmobilers killed in avalanche near Cooke City

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Posted at 6:28 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 20:38:09-05

COOKE CITY - The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center is reporting that two snowmobilers were caught and killed in an avalanche on Scotch Bonnet Mountain to the north of Cooke City on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021.

At the time of the avalanche, four riders were on the slope. Two were able to escape. All eight members of the group had rescue equipment. The avalanche broke 5’ deep and approximately 300’ wide on a southeast-facing slope.

Members of Park County Sheriff Search and Rescue arrived to assist with rescue and recovery efforts.

Investigators are in Cooke City now and will release further details as they become available.

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Images of the avalanche on Scotch Bonnet

Consistent snowfall for the last five days in the mountains around Cooke City, West Yellowstone and in the Southern Madison and Southern Gallatin Ranges creates dangerous avalanche conditions. Human-triggered avalanches are likely on steep wind-loaded slopes and large avalanches could break deeply on buried weak layers.

These conditions will continue while weak layers adjust to the weight of the new snow.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Images of the avalanche on Scotch Bonnet