One Killed in Large Avalanche in Alaska Yesterday

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"Fatal avalanche in Eureka area on Saturday, Feb.27th 2016. Probe line can be seen in lower lefthand corner." - CNFAIC
“Fatal avalanche in Eureka area on Saturday, Feb.27th 2016. Probe line can be seen in lower lefthand corner.” – CNFAIC

A snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche near the Nelchina Glacier in the Chugach Mountains of Alaska yesterday, according to the Chugach National Forecast Avalanche Information Center (CNFAIC).

“It’s with great sadness that we report another avalanche fatality in Alaska today. A snowmachiner in the Eureka area was caught, carried and killed. We hope to have more info tomorrow but in the meantime, reports from the Eureka area is that the snowpack is extremely touchy with several remote triggers and close calls in the last few days.” – Chugach National Forecast Avalanche Information Center

The avalanche was reportedly near the Eureka Lodge, 122 miles east of Anchorage, AK on Highway 1.

Looking up at the crown of a fatal avalanche in the Eureka area on Feb. 27th, 2016. pc: Chad Winberg
Looking up at the crown of a fatal avalanche in the Eureka area on Feb. 27th, 2016. pc: Chad Winberg

Alaska State Troopers report that two snowmobilers were caught in the avalanche and one died.  The troopers responded by snowmobile and helicopter.  The deceased man’s body was taken by helicopter.  No one else was injured.

“Information was received that two (people) on snowmachine were caught in an avalanche and were unaccounted for. Troopers responded by snow-machine from Eureka Lodge.  After picking up a trooper spotter at Eureka Lodge, Helo 2 [helicopter] responded to the scene and recovered the body of one deceased male.  Due to hazardous conditions Helo 2 loaded the deceased male and quickly departed the area transporting the body to the State Medical Examiner in Anchorage” – Alaska State Troopers

Partial burial (close call) in Eureka this weekend. pc: Chad Winberg — in Eureka Roadhouse, Alaska.
Partial burial (close call) in Eureka this weekend. pc: Chad Winberg — in Eureka Roadhouse, Alaska.

This was the 21st avalanche death in the USA this year including 12 in January alone.  3 have died in avalanches in Alaska this winter and that total will likely rise to 4 when the doctor mentioned below is accounted for.

This year’s total may rise in USA when two currently missing people are determined to have died form avalanches.  A doctor at Hatcher Pass AK, a ski instructor at Donner Pass, CA.

Map showing Erueka Lodge, AK near where the fatal avalanche occurred.
Map showing Erueka Lodge, AK near where the fatal avalanche occurred.

Last winter, the USA saw only 11 avalanche deaths.

There have been 8 avalanche deaths in Canada this year including 2 killed in separate avalanches near Golden, B.C. last week.

"Fatal avalanche in Eureka area on Saturday, Feb.27th 2016. Probe line can be seen in lower lefthand corner." - CNFAIC
“Fatal avalanche in Eureka area on Saturday, Feb.27th 2016. Probe line can be seen in lower lefthand corner.” – CNFAIC


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