UPDATE - 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 11.

Granite County Sheriff Scott Dunkerson confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that the victim in Monday afternoon's back country avalanche in the Altoona Lakes area was identified as Peter Maxwell, 27, of Missoula.

Dunkerson said Maxwell was skiing with six male friends when he apparently set off the avalanche and was buried by the slide.

Dunkerson commended Maxwell's fellow skiers for their heroic efforts in locating and digging Maxwell out of the snow. Unfortunately, by the time search and rescue crews reached the scene, Maxwell was already deceased. He said rescue helicopter could not respond in the incident due to inclement weather.

Dunkerson said avalanche experts have looked at the site and he recommends that anyone planning to ski in that area to use extreme caution.

Our news partners at NBC Montana-KECI-TV are reporting that there has been a fatal avalanche northeast of Phillipsburg in the Altoona Lakes area.

Granite County Sheriff Scott Dunkerson said a male was skiing in a remote area when he was caught and buried by the slide. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Granite County Dispatch said the call came in at about 2:30 p.m. on Monday, March 10, when search and rescue crews headed for the Altoona Ridge Lodge.

Dunkerson said the man was skiing with a group of people when the avalanche hit.

The victim's name has not yet been released.


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