Couple turning back from one avalanche gets separated by another, Montana officials say

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An avalanche came roaring between a husband and wife while biking in Glacier National Park in Montana, officials said.

The couple and a friend were bicycling Thursday within the park when they came up against an avalanche across the road. They turned back and started down the hill, but a second avalanche swept between them.

“The wife was ahead of her husband and friend and heard the avalanche. She warned her husband and friend to stop,” Glacier National Park officials said in a news release. “The avalanche came down between them, trapping the woman’s husband and friend on the uphill side.”

The group was biking on Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 50-mile road that goes through the middle of the park.

The wife biked down the hillside to get help for her husband and friend who were trapped by the avalanche, officials said. They were trapped for more than three hours until officials could rescue them.

“Park officials determined that they would wait until the sun was off the slope above, decreasing the chances for further slides, before starting rescue attempts,” park officials said. “Rangers belayed across the avalanche chute and belayed the bikers individually back across the chute.”

The bikers, all from Bigfork, Montana, were not injured. Park officials did not identify the bikers.

Officials said the sunny and warm weather helped create “unstable surface snow conditions.”

“Avalanches are more likely to occur before or after sunny/warm weather, rainstorms, or snowstorms,” park officials said. “Visitors are encouraged to start and finish their trip before the warmest part of the day.”

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