All the additional snowfall in the region in the past week has beckoned many outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

It is with great sadness that we learned of a horrific avalanche accident in Idaho's Teton County. The county sheriff's office reported that over the weekend, two juveniles were killed in an avalanche west of Driggs, Idaho.

Late Friday afternoon, the Teton County Idaho Sheriff’s Office received a report of an avalanche which occurred near Relay Ridge in the vicinity of Ryan Peak, west of Driggs. It was reported that two people had been buried under the avalanche. The reporting party advised the Sheriff’s Office that one person was riding a snowmobile and another was skiing at the time the avalanche occurred.

A number of Search and Rescue teams took part in rescue operations at the scene. The bodies of two juvenile males were recovered from the avalanche location. The cause of the avalanche is under investigation. The two victims were reportedly 17-year-old boys from Rigby, Idaho.

As you can imagine in these conditions, Montana authorities have recently issued a number of avalanche warnings. Wet, dense snow and blowing snow is overloading the dry, soft surface snow in certain areas, resulting in dangerous avalanche conditions.  Traveling in and below avalanche terrain is not recommended. Avalanches may run long distances.

If you are making plans to snowmobile, backcountry ski or any activity that puts you in close contact with mountainous terrain, please take all the necessary precautions you possibly can. A good starting point is a current broad overview of potential western U.S. avalanche dangers found here.

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