FIRST FATAL AVALANCHE OF US SEASON
11th October 2017
An avalanche near Big Sky in Montana took the life of a skier last weekend. Now her partner, who was with her at the time, has committed suicide. UPDATED
This is the first avalanche fatality reported for the 2017/18 ski season in North America.
The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center announced the death after the accident on Saturday.
Inge Perkins was with her partner Hayden Kennedy – a world-class climber – out ski touring on the early season snow.
The couple had skinned up 6 miles from the Upper Taylor Fork trailhead towards the north couloir of Imp Peak.
It is believed that it was their approach that triggered the slide.
The avalanche was approximately 45m wide and 90m long.
The slope had received October snow that had settled on top of dense snow that fell earlier in September, causing the slide.
Tragically since the fatal avalanche at the weekend Hayden Kennedy has taken his own life out of grief, the New York Post newspaper has reported.
People are being urged to be correctly equipped when skiing off piste and know how to use all the equipment.
- Carry rescue gear (beacon shovel and probe)
- Only expose one person at a time in avalanche terrain, both heading up and sliding down.
- Cracking and collapsing of the snow, most likely in wind drifts, are signs that slopes are unstable and could avalanche.
Check your gear:
Replace batteries in your beacon, recharge your airbag, make sure probe poles aren’t sticky, and the shovel parts fit together smoothly.
There are many avalanche training sessions and workshops out there; if you’re travelling off the beaten track make sure you are up to date.
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