People at Alaska’s Arctic Man race have recovered the body of a man who was found dead under a snowmachine Saturday morning, an Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman said, reports the Anchorage Daily News.
The man, 31-year-old Clayton Kaigelak of Nuiqsut, was reported missing Friday night when he did not return back to camp from snowmachining, spokeswoman Megan Peters said in an email. No foul play is suspected, she added.
The Arctic Man is one of the World’s Toughest Downhill Ski races, and an exciting snowmobile race, all in one. The skier begins at a summit elevation of 5,800 feet and drops 1700 feet in less than two miles to the bottom of a narrow canyon where he meets up with his snowmobiling partner.
The snowmobiler meets the skier, on the go, with a tow rope and pulls the skier 2 1/4 miles uphill at top speeds of up to 86 mph. The skier and the snowmobile then separate and the skier goes over the side of the second mountain and drops another 1200 feet to the finish line.
Kaigelak did not trigger an avalanche or get caught in one, said Debra McGhan, director of the Alaska Avalanche Information Center.
“It was really just a guy who went up last night because he was excited, and it was a rental machine. We think it was a machine he wasn’t used to,” she said. “He went up over some debris and it pitched him over and pinned him under the sled. And he did not have any personal protection on him. This seems kind of like a freak accident”.