- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - A 27-year-old man has died in an avalanche while he was backcountry skiing in southwestern Montana.

Granite County Sheriff Scott Dunkerson says Peter Maxwell of Missoula died of asphyxia. Dunkerson says Maxwell probably triggered the avalanche.

Maxwell was with a group of six other skiers northeast of Philipsburg in the Altoona Lakes area Monday when the slide occurred. Dispatchers received the call at about 3 p.m.

The other skiers with Maxwell dug him out, but they were unable to revive him.

Maxwell is the fourth person to die in western Montana avalanches since Jan. 1. Including him, 22 people have died in avalanches nationwide since Dec. 26, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

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