Snowmobiler Killed in Avalanche Near Wildcat Lake

Dave Cano died after he and his companions were buried in remote area of the Swan Range on Saturday

By Andy Viano

A man was killed when a group of snowmobilers were buried under an avalanche on Saturday in the Swan Range east of Kalispell.

Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino identified the victim as Dave Cano of Kalispell on Monday. Cano and his companions were riding northeast of Wildcat Lake in a remote section of the Swan Range when an avalanche broke free and at least partially buried the entire group. Cano, who was outfitted with an avalanche beacon, was unresponsive when located by the other snowmobilers. Resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful.

The other riders traveled several hours to find cell service after the incident and contacted law enforcement at around 3:30 p.m. Because of the dangerous conditions, rescuers were not able to retrieve Cano’s body until Sunday morning.

The Flathead Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche warning for much of Northwest Montana on Friday, rating the danger as “high” in the Swan Range. That warning remains in effect through Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. for the Swan, Whitefish and Flathead ranges, as well as the Lake McDonald and Marias Pass areas of Glacier National Park. More information is available at flatheadavalanche.org.

Update (Feb. 8, 2:08 p.m.): Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino provided an incorrect spelling of the victim’s last name in the original version of this story.

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