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Investigation of Mont. Avalanche Deaths Complete

Updated: 03/19/2014 7:32 AM
Created: 03/19/2014 6:57 AM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson

Montana avalanche centers have completed investigations into the recent deaths of two men in snow slides.
    
The West Central Montana Avalanche Center says 27-year-old Peter Maxwell of Missoula was digging snow pits to determine the stability of the snow northeast of Philipsburg before a planned backcountry ski trip on March 10 when he trigged the avalanche that killed him.
    
The next day, the manager of a hotel in Cooke City told a group of Minnesota snowmobilers that the avalanche danger was high and he recommended that they not go out.
    
The group decided they'd be safe if they avoided avalanche terrain. But they took more risks in the afternoon. The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center says 18-year-old Zach Junkermeier rode about a third of the way up Crown Butte when two fellow riders rode uphill past him on either side, triggering the fatal slide.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Eighteen-year-old Zach Junkermeier

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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