As March arrived, within a few days of each other, human-triggered avalanches took a toll. While snowmobiling in Jewel Basin--a closed area, a Kalispell 34-year-old was buried for eight hours, but survived. When rescuers dug him out from under four feet of snow, they were surprised to find the unconscious man still breathing. In the adjacent Flathead Range, a five-foot wall of snow tumbled a skier and his dog. The skier injured his pelvis when he struck a tree, but the dog was presumed dead when two hours of probing didn't turn up its body. On Yellow Mountain near Big Sky on a route known as Titanic Chute, a 21-year-old skier set off a 75-foot fracture line on his second turn. The avalanche swept him over a cliff to his death as it plummeted 2,000 feet. With six avalanche fatalities this season, it's timely, then, that "A Dozen More Turns" hits the Web. A masters degree project for Amber Seyler of Bozeman's Montana State University, the film tells the story of a January 2005 avalanche in Montana's Centennial Mountains in which one skier lost a leg and another his life. The free 30-minute documentary funded by Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center should be available this month on Backpacking Light's Web site. The documentary includes footage of a video camera buried in the avalanche.
- Snow Reports