Latest Avalanche Adds to Deadly Season in West

An avalanche killed a college student on a backcountry ski trip, officials said Monday.

The avalanche on Sunday swept Tyler Stetson, in his 20s, into trees, and he was dead when searchers found him within 10 minutes, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Department said.

Searchers included his ski partner and other people in the southwestern Montana area known as Beehive Basin.

Stetson was a junior at Montana State University in Bozeman.

The avalanche came a week after one that killed two backcountry skiers near the Whitefish Mountain Resort in northwestern Montana. Two witnesses said the avalanche Jan. 13 buried at least two more skiers. Authorities cited bad weather, unstable snow and lack of a missing-person report in suspending a search three days later.

With the latest death, avalanches have killed at least 22 people across the West since Dec. 2. The national average for avalanche deaths is about 25 a year, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.