KALISPELL, Mont. — A search effort for missing Montana skier will intensify this weekend with additional crews joining the effort in the backcountry near Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says the 25-person search party was expected to double on Saturday with the addition of search and rescue crews from Lewis and Clark and Gallatin counties.

Curry tells the Daily Inter Lake that crews are conducting a “methodical, tree-by-tree” search in a one-half to two-thirds square mile (1.4 to 1.6 square kilometer) area where 62-year-old Columbia Falls physician Jonathan Torgerson was last seen on Feb. 17.

Curry says the search was expected to continue through the weekend, but a winter storm forecast for Saturday could bring another foot (30 centimeters) of snow to the mountains. About a foot of snow fell the night Torgerson was reported missing.

Information from: Daily Inter Lake, http://www.dailyinterlake.com

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