A Montana search and rescue team member from Gallatin was killed in a recreational climbing accident on Sunday afternoon on Mount Cowen. According to a press release, Travis Swanson was climbing with fellow SAR members Jackson Negri and Will Hitchcock when Hitchcock and Swanson were swept downslope in a rockfall.
Negri contacted Park County Sheriff’s Office and Gallatin County search and rescue teammates responded. They were able to rescue Hitchcock and recover Swanson. Hitchcock is currently recovering at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings with stable injuries.
“The highly complex rescue was executed in a skilled and efficient manner that would have made Travis proud,” said Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin in a press release.
“Travis was a significant contributor to the Alpine and Helicopter rescue teams and we owe a part of the team’s performance to the many efforts that he put into Search & Rescue. He loved spending time with friends doing things that allowed him to excel at saving others. He demonstrated the highest level of teamwork and commitment. When good days went bad, Travis was always there to help his community.”
The Park County Sheriff, Search and Rescue, Park County Rural Fire, and Livingston Fire and Rescue responded to the incident. “We thank Park County for allowing us the privilege of being able to recover one of our own,” Gootkin added.