By Shereen Siewert
A 29-year-old West Salem man died Wednesday while snowmobiling on Mount Leidy in Wyoming, police confirmed Friday.
Cody Christopherson died after his snowmobile was involved in an avalanche, according to the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center. Officials say he was riding in a group when he drove his sled up a steep slope when the avalanche began.
Chrtisopherson’s snow machine was completely covered except for one handlebar that was sticking out of the snow, and he wasn’t wearing a beacon, officials said. One witness called 911 at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday while other witnesses started probing around the debris to search for Christopherson, who was discovered about four feet beneath the surface.
Searchers at the scene performed CPR but Christopherson was pronounced dead at the scene. His cause of death is still pending, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue said.
The Wisconsin man was visiting with a large group of families and friends, all from Wisconsin and Minnesota. Rescue personnel escorted the rest of the group 17 miles back to Togwotee Mountain Lodge on Wednesday evening.
The avalanche danger Wednesday on Mount Leidy was moderate, according to the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center. Responders encourage anyone who plans to go into the backcountry to wear and carry the proper equipment and to always have a partner and a plan.
There have been four avalanche fatalities in the U.S. this winter season, according to Avalanche.org, two of which have been in western Wyoming.
Top image: Rescuers respond Wednesday to a fatal avalanche on Mt. Leidy.
COURTESY PHOTO/Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center