Missoula Events

Montana avalanches claim lives of snowmobilers, skier

Montana Standard Reporter George Plaven talks with the parents of the 20-year-old snowmobiler killed in an avalanche in the Flint Range over the New Year’s weekend. Jasen Kellogg was an experienced snowmobiler and was wearing an avalanche beacon at the time of the slide. It took family members seven minutes to locate his body.

Two snowmobilers and a skier died in separate avalanches in Montana over the weekend.

David Lee Gaillard, 44, was skiing with his wife Saturday afternoon southeast of Cooke City when an avalanche occurred.

About two hours earlier, an avalanche north of Cooke City took the life of  46-year-old Jody Ray Verhasselt. He was buried for 12 minutes before two snowmobiling companions pulled him out.

The Western Montana Avalanche Center is reporting considerable avalanche danger on slopes above 6,000 feet, especially on north and south facing slopes 35 degrees or steeper.

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