It was only about six weeks ago that we shared the news of two snowmobilers losing their lives in a Montana avalanche.

There was more sad news released Sunday, when Associated Press reported that, despite intense rescue and resuscitation efforts, another snowmobiler was killed when an avalanche swept him downhill and into some trees. The avalanche occurred in the Lionhead area west of West Yellowstone, Montana. As we post this, the name nor hometown of the victim had been released.

On December 27, two men died in an avalanche in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park. They were part of a larger group riding near Cooke City. The avalanche occurred on Scotch Bonnet Mountain and buried the two snowmobilers. By the time Search and Rescue personnel were able to respond to that scene and locate the two individuals, they were already deceased. They were cousins, Jesse Thelen and Carl Thelen, both from Minnesota.

In that December tragedy, one rider was trying to help the other, whose snowmobile got stuck. As the second individual attempted to assist, the avalanche hit and buried them both.

While Montana's snowpack actually lessened in January, there are numerous "shelves" containing potentially dangerous levels of snow in many parts of the state, vulnerable to their own weight, high winds and other factors. As always, whether you are on snowmobile, cross-country skis, snowshoes or other activities in Montana's snowy, mountainous terrain, we hope you take extra time to evaluate the area you are in and familiarize yourselves with the conditions as thoroughly as possible.

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