Doctor Killed in Avalanche Caused by Girlfriend

A seasoned backcountry skier lost his life in an avalanche on an Idaho mountain last Friday. The avalanche was inadvertently set off by his girlfriend, as per a preliminary report from the Sawtooth Avalanche Center. Despite her frantic efforts to dig him out from under five feet of compacted snow, he did not survive the incident.

The couple, both adept backcountry skiers, were navigating their way down Donaldson Peak in Idaho’s Lost River Range when the calamity occurred. The girlfriend, whose identity has not been disclosed, had taken off her skis and was descending a section of the mountain on foot when she accidentally triggered a minor avalanche.

Caught in the snowslide, her movement set off a second, significantly larger avalanche that engulfed her partner. After calling for assistance, she utilized her rescue transceiver and probe pole to locate her boyfriend, who was buried under five feet of snow.

Armed with a shovel, she managed to extricate him from the snow and initiated CPR. Despite her efforts and the subsequent arrival of search and rescue teams, the man did not survive the accident. The Sawtooth Avalanche Center confirmed the unfortunate outcome.

While the identities of the skiers were not disclosed in the report, sources informed Ski Magazine that the deceased was a local ER doctor who was skiing with his girlfriend. This tragic incident occurred just a day after two skiers, aged 23 and 32, lost their lives in an avalanche at Utah’s Lone Peak Canyon. A third skier, also caught in the snowslide, was able to dig himself out and is currently in stable condition.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports that this past winter has seen at least 16 fatalities due to avalanches. On average, snowslides claim the lives of 30 people annually in the United States. Avalanche safety specialists have noted an increase in their workload in recent years, as climate change contributes to more extreme weather conditions.