Hundreds attend memorial for Missoula avalanche victim


MISSOULA, Mont. - Hundreds of people gathered in Missoula's Caras Park on Tuesday to celebrate the life of 27-year-old Peter Maxwell.

Maxwell was killed in an avalanche northeast of Philipsburg on March 10.

The West-Central Montana Avalanche Center says Maxwell was digging snow pits to determine the stability of the snow northeast of Philipsburg before a planned backcountry ski trip, when he trigged the avalanche that killed him.

People at the memorial described Maxwell as kind, loving and respectful to everyone he met.

"I always admired how he could instantly connect with anybody that he talked to," said one speaker. "He'd be standing on the street corner, and he'd smile, and say hello to a stranger."

Maxwell was well known in the ski and snowboard community. He was also a familiar face in Missoula as the owner of Garden City Recycling.

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