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Snowmobiler killed in avalanche near Galena Summit, Idaho

Posted at 11:22 PM, Feb 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-21 01:31:12-05

SMILEY CREEK, Idaho — A snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche Friday in Idaho, according to the Sawtooth Avalanche Center.

Idaho News 6 (KIVI) reports that the avalanche happened in the Smiley Creek drainage, about eight miles southwest of Galena Summit in Idaho's Sawtooth National Forest.

Members of the rider's party were not able to revive the victim at the accident scene. The snowmobiler was not identified by the Sawtooth Avalanche Center. However, family members on Saturday identified him as 30-year-old Andy Jessop of Corvallis, Montana.

"We extend our heartfelt condolences to the victim’s friends and family," Sawtooth Avalanche Center officials wrote in a Facebook post.

United States Forest Service staff with the Sawtooth Avalanche Center are visiting the site of the accident. Avalanche danger is moderate to considerable in the Sawtooth National Forest and is moderate in the area of Galena Summit.

The weak snow buried near the ground continues to be a primary concern in the area of Galena Summit, according to the avalanche center. Recent snowfall in the mountains has hidden signs of wind events in some places, making it difficult to tell when you are on previously wind-loaded slopes.