Details of Altoona Lakes Avalanche Death Revealed - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Details of Altoona Lakes Avalanche Death Revealed

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MISSOULA -

On Monday, 27-year-old Peter Maxwell died after being buried in an avalanche while back country skiing in a remote area north of Philipsburg.

Maxwell was a business owner in Missoula and a ski team coach at Discovery.

Maxwell's brother, Tyler, was one of the seven men back country skiing near Altoona Lakes on Monday.

In a Facebook post, Tyler revealed details about their trip, and how he watched the avalanche engulf his brother.

In the post, Tyler said the group was excited about the day of skiing ahead, when they left Altoona Ridge Lodge around 9 a.m. on Monday.

Visibility was low as they skinned up the ridge directly above the lodge.

Tyler said they dug a pit to test the snowpack, which revealed a deep, weak layer right on top of rocks.

The group decided it was unsafe and were ready to exit, when Peter decided to check out another area near some trees.

Tyler said Peter was skiing to that spot, when he gained a lot of speed and passed it.

That's when they heard the slope break, and watched as Peter went down.

Tyler says the group skied down the slope as fast as possible, trying to stay ahead of the huge fracture of snow ripping down the mountain.

Tyler says the slide carried Peter 1,500 vertical feet over a series of large cliffs.

Their beacons led them to Peter's location, and on the third probe, they found him, and dug him out.

They took turns doing chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth, but it was too late.

Tyler said he wrote the post for his family and friends, and because people deserve to know the truth about Peter's death.

He said he can't comprehend never seeing his brother again, but he died doing what he loved, and they did everything they could to save him.

Peter was the owner and operator of Garden City Recycling-- a curbside recycling pickup service.

Peter was also a coach of the Discovery Ski Team.

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