Update: Snowmobiler identified in Park Co. avalanche


COOKE CITY, Mont. - The Park County Coroner has identified a Minnesota man killed in an avalanche near Cooke City as 18-year old Zachary Junkermeier.

On Tuesday at about 4 pm, Yellowstone Park Dispatch received a report of a snowmobiler buried in an avalanche in the Daisy Pass / Crown Butte area near Cooke City.

Five members of Park County Sheriff's Search and Rescue – Cooke City responded. According to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, it took them over two hours to find Junkermeier and dig him out.

The GNFAC said he was not wearing a rescue beacon, and was buried under six feet of snow and debris. CPR was performed but was not successful.

Junkermeier was with a group of six other friends and was sitting on his snowmobile about halfway up the slope when he was overtaken by the avalanche.

Two other members of the party were riding on the slope when the avalanche broke. They were able to ride off and were not buried in the avalanche.

The avalanche appears to have been remotely triggered and started near the peak of Crown Butte. The dimensions of the avalanche are estimated to be 500 feet wide, 600 feet long and 20 feet deep in areas- a very large slide.

Avalanche conditions are extreme throughout this entire region. The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center rates danger as "high" for steep, sun exposed slopes and "considerable" for all others.

The Park County Sheriff's Department cautions snowmobilers and skiers to be mindful of these conditions and avoid areas prone to sliding. Always wear rescue beacons on your body and carry a shovel and probe pole.

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