Butte skiers rescued after avalanche


BUTTE, Mont. - A helicopter from Malmstrom Air Force base was called in to help rescue a group of skiers caught in an avalanche south of Butte on Sunday.

Among those rescued was State Rep. Amanda Curtis (D-Butte).

Skiers said they were below Lookout Point on Red Mountain. Red Mountain is in the Highlands Mountains Area, some of the tallest mountains around Butte.

Dispatchers received the call of the avalanche around 3:40 Sunday afternoon.

Curtis said they checked the conditions at the top of the hill and one by one skied to what they thought was a safe area. She said the avalanche began when the third person started down the slope.

She said the person at the top the slide yelled, warning the others to get out of the way.

Butte-Silver Bow Police said one person was injured with a broken collar bone, the rest were OK. Curtis said the injured man was diabetic and his supplies were ripped out of his backpack.

Curtis and her husband stayed with the injured man and built a fire for rescuers to find them. She added the Malmstrom Air Force Base Helicopter went to the wrong area first so she called and told rescuers to come one peak over.

Rescuers told Curtis the area was restricted for skiing, but she and another skier say that's not the case and that there were no signs in the area that say skiing isn't allowed.