Kellogg, Idaho – January 13, 2024
A devastating avalanche in the remote backcountry of Idaho has left two individuals rescued and one presumed dead, as emergency crews intensify efforts to locate the missing person. The tragedy unfolded near Stevens Peak in Shoshone County on Thursday afternoon, prompting a rapid response from authorities.
The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office received a distressing alert regarding a significant snow slide shortly before 3 p.m., setting in motion a desperate search for a group of men believed to have been caught in the avalanche. The location, near the borders of Washington and Montana in Idaho’s northern panhandle, became the focal point of a coordinated rescue operation.
Utilizing GPS texting devices, authorities established communication with two of the individuals, enabling them to pinpoint the last known location of the group. Search and rescue teams, including the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Silver Valley Search and Rescue, the Silver Mountain Ski Patrol, and the U.S. Air Force, collaborated to locate and transport the two rescued men to a nearby medical facility.
Tragically, during debriefing, information surfaced leading authorities to believe that the third male had succumbed to the avalanche at the site. The search was temporarily suspended overnight due to safety concerns, but a planned “retrieval mission” is set to commence on Friday morning.
The identities of the affected individuals remain undisclosed, and authorities have not provided details regarding the group’s purpose in the area. The region has been under an avalanche warning for several days due to heavy snowfall and intense winds, creating precarious conditions on high, steep slopes.
This incident in Idaho follows closely on the heels of another tragic avalanche near Lake Tahoe, California, on Wednesday, where one individual lost their life, and three others sustained injuries. It marks the first avalanche-related fatality of the season, underscoring the heightened risks associated with winter activities in mountainous regions.