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Snowmobiler who died in Montana avalanche identified

COOKE CITY, Mont. – An 18-year-old Minnesota man died after he was buried in an avalanche in southwestern Montana that may have been triggered by another rider.

Zach Junkermeier, of Lake Lillian, Minn., was stuck on a slope and trying to start his snowmobile Tuesday afternoon and another snowmobiler was riding above him on the mountain when the avalanche was triggered, authorities said. The Park County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a snowmobiler buried in the Daisy Pass and Crown Butte area near Cooke City about 4 p.m. Tuesday. Junkermeier was found under about 6 feet of snow more than two hours after he was buried.

The avalanche center estimates the slide was 500 feet wide, 600 feet long and up to 20 feet deep in places. None of the seven snowmobilers in the party had avalanche beacons, avalanche center officials said.


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