Massive Avalanche Kills Woman Near “Arctic Man” Site in Alaska

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The massive avalanche that killed the snowmobiler on Sunday.
The massive avalanche that killed the snowmobiler on Sunday.  image:  Matthew Kennedy

A massive avalanche killed a female snowmobiler near Summit Lake in the Eastern Alaska Range on Sunday afternoon.

She was riding at the base of a large slope when another rider went up the hill, triggered the avalanche, and escaped it.  The female snowmobiler below was buried and killed.

“A witness reported that (Sundgren) was parked on a snowmachine at the base of a hill when another snowmachine went up the hill and triggered an avalanche.  The other rider was able to escape the avalanche.” –  Alaska State Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain

Map showing location of the deadly avalanche.
Map showing location of the deadly avalanche.

People on the scene dug her up and performed CPR to no avail.  She was declared dead at the scene.

“Bystanders were eventually able to dig Sundgren out and CPR was attempted, but she was not able to be revived.”-  Alaska State Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain

Claire Sundgren
Claire Sundgren

The victim was 25-year-old Claire Sundgren of North Pole, AK.    She leaves behind two boys, 7 and 8.

The avalanche occurred near Paxson, AK where the Arctic Man Classic begins today.

This was the 26th avalanche death in the USA this winter.  The USA averages 27 avalanche deaths per winter.

“We are sad to inform you of an avalanche fatality that occurred on Sunday April 3 in the Hoodoo Mountains near the Arctic Man event. According to information thus far, it was a hard slab triggered by a snow machiner on a southwest facing slope greater than 30 degrees. The climbing rider triggered a destructive size 3 avalanche that caught him and buried his partner, who was watching below. The partner was buried 6 feet deep for 25-30 minutes, but did not survive the burial and related trauma. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim.” – Alaska Avalanche Information Center

image: caic
image: caic

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