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Montana snowmobiler dies in weekend avalanche in Swan Range



KALISPELL, Mont. — A northwestern Montana man died after being caught in a weekend avalanche while snowmobiling in the Swan Range east of Kalispell, Flathead County officials said.

Several snowmobilers were caught in a slide Saturday northeast of Wildcat Lake, Sheriff Brian Heino told the Daily Inter Lake.

David Cano, 59, of Kalispell, was buried, the sheriff’s office said.

Cano had an avalanche beacon, but was unresponsive when located by the other snowmobilers. His friends dug him out and tried CPR without success, Heino said.

They rode out and called 911 at about 3 p.m. Saturday. Severe weather prevented search and rescue teams from recovering Cano’s body until Sunday, Heino said.

The Flathead Avalanche Center had issued avalanche warnings for the Whitefish, Swan and Flathead ranges and southern Glacier National Park on Saturday morning. The warnings remain in effect on Monday because recent and drifted snow are overloading weak layers, making it easy to trigger large, wide and deadly avalanches.

This was the first Montana avalanche death this season. It happened on the same day four backcountry skiers died in an avalanche in Utah.

There have been 21 avalanche deaths in the US this winter, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

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