Beehive Basin Avalanche Fatality

2 splitboarders caught, 1 partially buried and fatally injured


On February 14, 2021, two splitboarders triggered an avalanche in Beehive Basin north of Big Sky. They were skinning up the slope when they triggered the avalanche. Both members of the party were caught, but Boarder 1 was able to grab trees and not be buried. Boarder 2 was carried approximately 300 feet downslope where he hit a tree and was critically injured. He was partially buried, entangled around a tree with his head downhill. Boarder 1 heard his partner’s screams, called 911 and went to his aid. He administered first aid and worked to keep him warm and calm. Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in Big Sky (GCSAR) left the trailhead within 45 minutes of the 911 call, skied to the scene and began providing care. A GCSAR helicopter arrived soon afterward and the injured boarder was short hauled to Big Sky Fire Department and medical care. Boarder 2 died from his injuries that night. The avalanche was 300 feet wide, 500 feet vertical and averaged 2 feet deep. It broke on a layer of facets and depth hoar near the ground, and is classified HS-ARu-R4-D2.5-O.