A snowmobiler was killed in the Trinity Lakes area of the Boise National Forest on March 22 after becoming trapped in a large avalanche, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center reported Thursday.
Two other riders who were traveling with the victim were able to locate the man, but were unable to resuscitate him as he was buried “several feet deep,” the center stated.
The victim’s name, age and hometown were not available as of press time Tuesday. On Friday, Elmore County Coroner Nickie Campbell said the man’s next of kin had not yet been notified; Campbell was not available for comment on Monday or Tuesday.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the victim’s friends and family,” the Avalanche Center said in a statement.
The accident site is about 40 miles east of Boise, 40 miles west of Ketchum and nine miles west of Featherville.
In a site visit on Monday, Avalanche Specialist Ben VandenBos reported that the March 22 avalanche had a crown nearly 1,000 feet wide and was 5-6 feet deep, and even deeper in other places.
While the Avalanche Center does not issue a backcountry avalanche forecast for the Trinity Mountains area, the center ranked avalanche danger in the nearby Sawtooth-Western Smoky Mountains forecast zone at the time of the accident “Considerable” in upper elevations and “Moderate” at middle and lower elevations.
The western boundary of the Sawtooth-Smoky zone lies about 15 miles east of the accident site, VandenBos said.
On Tuesday, avalanche danger was rated “Moderate” in the forecast zone.
“Weak layers buried underneath dense, 2-4 foot thick slabs can produce large, destructive avalanches,” the center stated. “You aren’t likely to experience signs of instability with these deeper weak layers—the first sign may be the large avalanche you trigger. Choose simple terrain free of terrain traps to reduce your risk.”
A full accident report will be released in the coming days, the Avalanche Center stated. ￼