he popular Canyon Creek backcountry skiing area behind Whitefish Mountain Resort let loose Jan. 13 on Fiberglass Hill with a 250-yard-wide slide that careened nearly a half mile across a snowmobile road. Nearby snowmobilers reported seeing four skiers in the area, but by that evening rescue crews had only retrieved two bodies out of the 25-foot-deep debris field.
Skiers and riders access Fiberglass Hill from Whitefish Mountain Resort, which has an open boundary policy, but only controls avalanches within resort boundaries. The resort has become the staging area for the Flathead Nordic Ski Patrol working the site with the Flathead County Sheriff. Winds and new snow hampered efforts to locate the possible two remaining bodies, as day three of the rescue resumed.