Utah man dies in avalanche while backcountry skiing in western Montana

HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) — A Utah man died after being caught in an avalanche while backcountry skiing in western Montana, Ravalli County officials said Wednesday.

David Macfarlane, 64, of Park City, Utah, died Tuesday in the snow slide near Lost Trail Pass on the Montana-Idaho border, Sheriff-Coroner Steve Holton said in a statement.

Macfarlane was one of a group of five skiers from Utah who were on a steep north-facing slope just west of the Lost Trail Ski Area boundary — and only a few hundred feet inside Montana — when he was caught in the slide, the Ravalli Republic reported.

The other skiers found Macfarlane, administered first aid and called for rescue using a satellite communication device. Macfarlane died of his injuries before search and rescue teams arrived, Holton said.

Macfarlane's death was the first avalanche death in Montana for this winter and the 12th in the U.S., according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.