An avalanche has claimed the life of Wyoming snowmobiler.
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office reports 31-year-old Dustin LaPant of Rock Springs died after being buried in an avalanche in the Horse Creek area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest on December 23. Sergeant Travis Bingham with the Sublette County Sheriff’s office reports Lapant was trapped and buried in the avalanche while riding with a group of snowmobilers this past Saturday morning.
Sublette County Dispatch received a 911 call regarding the incident and dispatched Tiptop Search and Rescue of Sublette County to the area in the Wyoming Mountain Range. The person calling into 911 said the rider had been buried for about an hour at that time and conditions prevented other snowmobilers in the party from reaching the trapped rider. However, a short time later the caller reported back to dispatch and said the trapped snowmobiler had been located, but had died in the accident.
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office and Tiptop Search and Rescue responded to the scene. The latest report from the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center this morning notes moderate conditions at the higher elevations. Under the moderate designation, the weight of a single skier or rider can trigger a slab avalanche. Snow depths in the Star Valley region range from 27-inches at the Box Y Ranch along the Greys River to 40-inches at the 8300-ft Blind Bull Meadows and 49-inches on the 9300-ft Commissary Ridges.