Conversation Needs to Change

Published in the February 2019 Issue April 2019 Feature Summer Andersen

I met Adam Andersen in the spring of 2008. It was a blind date to a monster truck rally. He was young, brimming with life and charisma.

Raised in the wilds of Idaho on the back of his family’s horses, motorcycles and snowmobiles, Adam had a love for the mountains that couldn’t be extinguished. He was confident and talented. He seemed untouchable.

Unsurprisingly, I fell in love with this adventurer. We said “I do” with our toes in the sand of a Caribbean beach and started our own adventure together. Three beautiful babies, a lovely home, and so many future plans. 

On Jan. 10, 2018, Adam kissed his children and told us all he loved us on his way out the door for an afternoon ride in the Mount Jefferson area of Island Park, ID. After a few hours of fun, the group of three were headed back for the evening when Adam cut up a steep gully and triggered an avalanche. He was caught and fully buried. Adam’s friends and volunteers searched for hours in the snow that was described as thick and as heavy as “wet cement.” But with no beacon and no airbag, their search was in vain. As tears and prayers poured out on Mount Jefferson, I was at home with our children, oblivious to how my life was about to change entirely.

The night of Jan. 10 was something pulled directly from my most harrowing nightmares. I forced myself to keep repeating the few facts I had in an attempt to grasp my new awful reality: Adam had been caught in an avalanche. They could not find him. The conditions were too dangerous to continue searching. Search and rescue would return tomorrow to recover his body. He had been presumed dead.

Visions of a clear starry night sky and the wind whistling through pine trees haunted me as I couldn’t help but imagine my husband, my love, the father of my children alone in the snow. 

Fremont County Search and Rescue was able to recover Adam’s body within five minutes of searching the next morning. He was 10 feet away from his snowmobile and only 18 inches beneath the snow. 

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