He's lived there for years with his wife, Ann-Pell and children Kamp, Lake and Sailor.
Kirk Rongen, 50, who grew up in Crookston and graduated from Crookston Central High School in 1988, was killed Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 15 when he was caught in an avalanche while snowmobiling west of Ketchum, Idaho, near Baker Creek in Sawtooth National Forest. The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office released his identity Thursday afternoon.
Rongen has lived in the Twin Falls, Idaho area for many years with his family, including wife Ann-Pell, a 1991 Crookston Central graduate, and their children Kamp, Lake and Sailor. Idaho media report that his address is in Jerome, Idaho.
According to media reports in Idaho and the Sawtooth Avalanche Center, Rongen was with another snowmobiler when the avalanche occurred near an elevation of 9,000 feet. His riding partner was able to escape and later was able to find Rongen buried in the snow with the help of Rongen’s transponder. His partner was able to clear snow from his face but his attempts to revive him, followed by attempts by rescuers, were unsuccessful.
Staff from Sawtooth Avalanche Center were expected to visit the site Thursday to try and determine what caused the avalanche. On their Facebook page Wednesday morning, the center described the avalanche danger as “considerable.”
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the victim’s friends and family,” the avalanche center said in a post on its Facebook page.
Rongen was an avid snowmobiler, and the area where he was snowmobiling Wednesday is a popular recreation spot.